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Clovelly remembers loss of RNLI crewman

Lifeboats News Release

Twenty years ago the community of Clovelly were left devastated by the loss of two local fishermen.

Mark Gist with his son Sam

Family Archive

Mark Gist with son Sam

Clovelly RNLI lifeboat Senior Helm, Mark Gist and David McBride set out on the 12th November 1998 on board their fishing boat ‘The Blue Hooker’. But what began as a usual fishing trip for two friends, ended in tragedy when both of them lost their lives.

Volunteers from the lifeboat station and local residents were involved in the search at the time as the news of their loss shocked the close knit community of Clovelly in North Devon.

To mark the 20th anniversary, son of Mark Gist and current Helm at Clovelly, Sam Gist and his brother Max laid a wreath off Galantry Bower where the fishing boat was lost.

Sam explains why he joined the lifeboat and his personal connection to the village.

“I lived just two doors down from the Clovelly Lifeboat Station during my early childhood, it has always been a part of my life and it runs in my blood. My dad and two of my uncles played big roles at the station, as soon as I was old enough to join as crew I was there and I've been there ever since.

Sam talks about how it feels to follow in his dad’s footsteps in the role as helmsman at the station.

“When I am on the boat I feel a strong connection to my dad. He was also a helmsman of the Clovelly lifeboat whilst it was a privately run station in the early 90's and when it became a part of the RNLI and he remains my inspiration. This year marks 20 years since my dad passed away but his presence is always with me and there's not a single time I set foot into the station without looking up to my hero watching over us’.

“Part of what makes the crew at Clovelly so special is the pride and passion of the all volunteer crew, a crew that I am honoured to be a part of. The crew are like my family (some are my family!).”

Dan Garnett who still lives in the village, was a friend and fellow crewman and remembers: "Mark was Clovelly. A real Clovelly fisherman and lifeboatman. I am proud to served with him. He had respect in the village and at sea. His legacy lives on."

-Ends-

RNLI media contacts:

For more information please telephone Vicky Clarke, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 0781 257 2025 or Vicky_Clarke@rnli.org.uk or Oliver Wrynne-Simpson, National Media Officer on 07795 127351 or oliver_wrynne-simpson@rnli.org.uk or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789

RNLI online

For more information on the RNLI please visit www.rnli.org.uk. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre www.rnli.org.uk/press

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 230 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 180 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved 140,000 lives.

A commemorative plaque hangs in the Clovelly Lifeboat House

RNLI/Vicky Clarke

Mark Gist plaque in Clovelly Lifeboathouse
Sam Gist, Helm.

RNLI/Vicky Clarke

Sam Gist as Boatcrew
Mark Gist

Family Archive

Mark Gist, local fisherman

RNLI

Sam Gist and his brother Max on their way to lay some flowers

RNLI

Sam Gist (Left) and his brother Max

Key facts about the RNLI

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

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

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