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Proud Bridlington RNLI Volunteers To Celebrate At Bicentennial Service In London

The RNLI is markign it's 200th Birthday today with a special service in Westminster Abbey.

Bridlington RNLI volunteers Steve Clarke and Mike Milner will be joining many others at Westminster Abbey today Monday 4th March to mark the official 200th anniversary of the RNLI.

On 4 March 1824, Sir William Hillary’s vision for a service dedicated to saving lives at sea became a reality in Bishopsgate’s trendy London Tavern and 200 years on, invited guests from the RNLI will gather in London to celebrate the volunteers that have served this great institution.

The congregation will gather to remember all those that have served, those saved and those that have been lost over the past 200 years, plus to look towards the future.

The RNLI now have 238 lifeboat stations around the UK with a fleet of 441 lifeboats and 7 hovercrafts dedicated to saving lives at sea. The crews are ready to launch, with very short notice 24/7 and will respond to anyone in difficulties around our coasts. As a charity the RNLI depend on the voluntary donations of the public to power the lifesaving work of the RNLI.

Steve Clarke, is the Bridlington Lifeboat Station Operations Manager, and is delighted to be attending.

Steve goes on to say that he believes the future of the RNLI will be in safe hands for many years to come.

Mike Milner is the Bridlington Lifeboat Press Officer and believes it is a great honour to be able to attend.

Today, the charity is saving more lives, in more ways, in more places than ever before. It operates 238 lifeboat stations and has seasonal lifeguards on over 240 lifeguarded beaches around the UK and Ireland. It designs and builds its own lifeboats, and it runs domestic and international water safety programmes.

But, while innovations and developments in technology over the course of 200 years have inevitably changed how the charity saves lives, some things have remained the same. The volunteering ethos at the heart of the RNLI is what makes the charity so special – volunteers have given their time and commitment over the past two centuries, as they continue to do today. And generous donations have continued to power the RNLI’s lifesaving work – everything the RNLI has achieved since 1824 has been made possible thanks to their generosity.

RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie, says:

‘It has been an honour and a privilege to be at the helm of the RNLI for approaching five years, and to see the charity reach its bicentenary.

For a charity to have survived 200 years based on the time and commitment of volunteers, and the sheer generosity of the public donating to fund it, is truly remarkable. It is through the courage and dedication of its incredible people that the RNLI has survived the test of time, including tragic losses, funding challenges, two World Wars and, more recently, a global pandemic.

‘In 2024, we mark the bicentenary of the RNLI. We remember the achievements and commitment of all those who have been part of the RNLI family over the past two centuries; we celebrate the world- class lifesaving service we provide today, based on our 200 years of learning, expertise and innovation, and we hope to inspire future generations of lifesavers and supporters who will take the RNLI into its next century and beyond.

‘I am immensely grateful to everyone who is involved with the charity – our volunteers, supporters and staff. This is our watch and it is our role to keep our charity safe and secure so it can continue to save lives into the future, as we strive in our vision to save every one

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