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Aldeburgh RNLI’s festive spirit put to test following lifeboat station break-in

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteers at Aldeburgh RNLI have had their festive spirits put to the test after thieves broke into the charity’s lifeboat station.

The incident occurred in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday 20 December) when intruders broke through a window and gained entry to the station.

Once inside, they smashed up furniture and stole various funds, including the volunteer crew members’ tea and coffee kitty. They also ransacked the building leaving the station with a considerable clean-up operation and repair bill.

RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager, Charlie Walker said: ‘It was heart-breaking to discover that our lifeboat station had been broken into and I can’t possibly comprehend why anyone would want to target our lifesaving service.

‘The thieves have committed a mindless act of vandalism by breaking our office furniture and they’ve caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to the building too.

‘The break-in has been a real kick in the teeth to our volunteer crew but they won’t let it dampen their festive spirits. They’ll be on-call throughout Christmas, ready to drop everything and save lives at sea.’

Aldeburgh RNLI was also targeted by vandals earlier in the year when the lifeboat station window was smashed resulting in a substantial repair bill.

Charlie added: ‘The RNLI is a charity and all our equipment is paid for through public donations. It is exasperating that we will now have to rely on the generosity of our supporters to fix the damage to the site and to increase the security measures we already have in place.’

Anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity or has knowledge of the incident should contact Suffolk police on 101, quoting crime reference 37/80533/17 or CAD reference 72 of 20 December 2017.

RNLI media contacts

  • For more information, please contact Clare Hopps, RNLI Regional Media Officer North East and East on: 07824 518641 or at
  • Or, Caron Hill, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on: 07837 263210.

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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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland