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Harwich RNLI Volunteer Attends Royal Garden Party

Lifeboats News Release

Tuesday 5 June was a special day for long serving Harwich RNLI volunteer John Reason.

Becky and John Reason pictured together outside Buckingham Palace


Becky and John Reason outside Buckingham Palace

Representing Harwich RNLI and in recognition of his 27 years of service and counting, John had been invited to attend a royal garden party at Buckingham Palace.

In John’s 27 years with Harwich RNLI, he has served in a number of roles, from being a crew member on both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats, to being an inshore lifeboat helmsman, an assistant and emergency mechanic on the all-weather lifeboat, and now serving as a Deputy Launch Authority. John’s most recent role draws on his years of experience, joining the station’s Operations Management Team to make important decisions in authorising the launch of the Harwich lifeboats. His in depth experience on board the lifeboats, knowing their capabilities, and his extensive local knowledge of the rivers and the open sea where the Harwich lifeboats operate is all key to the role.

John was joined by his wife Becky for the trip to the royal garden party, where they were presented to the RNLI's President, his royal highness the Duke of Kent. Commenting on the day and on husband John, Becky said:

‘It was the most amazing experience and memorable day. Shaking hands and talking to Prince Charles, Camilla and Princess Anne will stay with me forever. The Palace and the gardens were so beautiful and we were well looked after by the Palace staff. I feel very privileged to have met so many amazing people from all walks of life and of course very proud of my husband John for being chosen to represent Harwich RNLI for his 27 years of voluntary service’.

A spokesperson for Harwich RNLI said: ‘We are very proud to have had John representing Harwich RNLI, and very pleased for John to have his past and continued years of service and commitment recognised. 27 years of answering the call to help those in difficulty at sea, helping to train new crew members along the way, and leading many crew members on lifesaving rescues, it’s real dedication.'

RNLI media contacts

Daniel Sime, Lifeboat Press Officer, Harwich Lifeboat Station on 01255 502258, 07793 883797

For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


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