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Ex-Wells Lifeboat Coxswain celebrates fifty-seventh Lifeboat service.

Lifeboats News Release

An estimated 600 people attended the 57th Annual Lifeboat Service on Wells Quay, which took place during Carnival Week.

RNLI/John Mitchell

Ex-Coxswain David Cox at the wheel of the current Wells lifeboat

The Annual Lifeboat service was instigated fifty-seven years ago in 1960 by then coxswain David Cox who is now ninety-one years old. He served aboard the lifeboat and has been to all the lifeboat services ever since, to read the poem about the lifeboats called “For Those in Peril”. The lifeboat chaplain, the Reverend Neil Woodruff, led the service and the address was given by the Rev Alan Elkins, arch-deacon and current rector of Wells Parish Church, from on board the all-weather lifeboat Doris M Mann of Ampthill.

The fishermen’s version of the 23rd Psalm was read by Coxswain Allen Frary. Crewmember Martyn Flitcroft and 2nd Coxswain Nicky King read the lessons. The closing prayers were given by David Saunders from The Friends.

The traditional seafarers’ hymns were accompanied by the Fakenham Town Band and led by the Churches Together choir. During the final hymn, Abide With Me, the inshore lifeboat went round to all the boats anchored in the harbour to take a collection while Guild members collected from those on the quay. As this was taking place the Mersey Class all-weather lifeboat did a circuit of the harbour sounding her siren before returning to the boathouse.

The total collection came to £1505.00 which goes to lifeboat funds.

RNLI/John Mitchell

David Cox

RNLI/John Mitchell

Lifeboat and crew attending the 57th Wells quayside service

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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