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Grand-daughter of Second Coxswain baptised on board the RNLI Torbay lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI Torbay team are used to bringing you stories of bravery and rescues at sea carried out by our wonderful volunteer lifeboat crew, but today we have a very different story for you …


Rev Malkinson, Godparent and crew member Adam Fowler (with Ayva on lap), then (around little Mia) Godparents Emily, Mandy and Darren

Back in sunny July, beautiful little Mia was baptised aboard the RNLI Torbay all-weather lifeboat Alec & Christina Dykes on 14 July, the day she also turned one year old! The service was led by Reverend Malkinson (who stepped in to officiate for a colleague from St Mary’s Church, Brixham) and attended by close family and friends, and of course little Mia’s Godparents.

A special concession available to family members of serving lifeboat crew, Mia’s ceremony aboard the lifeboat was attended by the RNLI Torbay Second Coxswain Richard Fowler - who also happens to be her Grandad! Mia’s big sister Ayva was also baptised on board the same vessel in 2016, with the vicar using the specially blessed upturned ships’ bell as a font on both occasions!

The happy event was celebrated by around 75 guests who witnessed proceedings from Relief Severn Class lifeboat Volunteer Spirit, which proved a perfect viewing platform being also moored at Brixham lifeboat pontoon that week following the Torbay lifeboat’s recent re-fit.

Among the proud Godparents pictured is Richard’s son (and Mia and Ayva’s Uncle) Adam - who is also an RNLI Torbay crew member. The girls’ mum Sammy told us she feels extremely lucky to have such a supportive family – and the RNLI Torbay team are lucky to have a local family so dedicated to saving lives at sea!

Notes to editors

Photographs (all courtesy of the family) show:

L-R: Rev Malkinson, RNLI crew member (and Godparent) Adam Fowler (with Ayva seated on lap), and (either side of little Mia) Godparents Emily, Mandy and Darren

Guests assemble on board the RNLI Torbay all-weather lifeboat for the baptism

The upturned ships’ bell from the lifeboat was blessed and used as a font

Rev Malkinson conducts the service on board the lifeboat (picture taken through lifeboat window)

Big sister Ayva in her RNLI kit ready for this year’s Seaside Special event which took place on 12 August

Torbay Lifeboat Station Key Facts:

RNLI media contacts

Victoria Bowen, RNLI Torbay Lifeboat Press Officer

07794 043 428 or

Emma Haines, RNLI Regional Media Officer:

01752 854450 or

or RNLI Public Relations at Poole HQ on 01202 336 789 (24 hours)


Guests gather on board the RNLI Torbay all-weather lifeboat to celebrate Mia's baptism


The RNLI Torbay lifeboat bell was blessed and upturned to use as the font!


Rev Malkinson conducts the baptism as seen through the lifeboat windscreen


Big sister Ayva follows in the family tradition in her RNLI lifeboat kit!

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 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.

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 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