A busy May on and off the water for Harwich RNLI volunteers

With 12 calls and numerous events out of the water, including a visit from RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie, Harwich RNLI volunteers enjoyed one of their busiest Mays in many years.

The calls saw volunteers respond to drifting ships in the heart of Ipswich. The incidents included reports of missing people, windsurfers and swimmers in distress, drifting and stranded ships, finally ending on May 31 with a report of people cut off by the tide at La Naze. The number and variety of services in May tested the skills and dedication of volunteers.

Out of the water has been equally busy for volunteers, starting with Ann Brand celebrating 20 years as a volunteer store manager on May 4. The viewing area inside the station also reopened to the public for the first time since Covid restrictions were lifted, sporting two new ‘Tap to Donate’ units, one inside and one outside.

The fundraising team held their monthly coffee morning at the Harwich Town Sailing Club (next June 10) and held a ‘Mayday Mile’ fundraiser. They have also been busy preparing for this Sunday’s (June 5) Jubilee Garden Party at 19 Marine Parade, to which everyone is invited.

On May 25, RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie visited the lifeboat station where he toured the facilities and spent an hour talking with volunteers, learning about the sometimes unique challenges faced. face the Harwich volunteers.

Harwich RNLI Lifeboat Operations Peter Bull praised the dedication of the volunteers saying: ‘What a great month it has been. It looks like we are finally getting back to normal after over two years of restrictions, with events taking place, station tours restarting and a visit from Mark Dowie, our Managing Director. “Mark was inspired by meeting Ann Brand, who spent 47 years volunteering for Harwich RNLI, and promised to come personally to present her 50 year medal. He was amazed to hear the stories of all our volunteers and, like me, he is amazed and grateful that all our volunteers have returned after the lockdown.

“May has been our busiest month in the past seven years, and I am amazed and grateful for all of our volunteers and families, who volunteer their time and are so dedicated to risking their lives helping others. June is shaping up to be a busy month for our fundraising volunteers with events taking place for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, culminating with a Jubilee Garden Party at one of our private volunteer homes, 19 Marine Parade, Sunday June 5, plus we have the ‘Festival of the Sea’, our monthly coffee morning, and much more.’

Keep an eye on the Harwick RNLI Facebook page for all upcoming events,

and if you would like to join our fantastic dedicated team, please contact Peter at [email protected]


RNLI Highlights

The charity RNLI saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service along the coasts of the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The RNLI operates 238 lifeguard stations in the UK and Ireland and over 240 lifeguard units on beaches in the UK and the Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of the coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its lifesaving service. Since the RNLI’s inception in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved more than 142,700 lives.

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