Rye Harbour District Branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution
By Anthony Kimber
The Royal National Lifeboat Institute has provided the lifeboat service for some 175 years. It has always been a voluntary service funded entirely by public subscription and collection. The Rye Harbour District Branch is one of some 1500 branches around the Country, which supports the RNLI through its fund-raising activities.
The Rye Harbour Lifeboat, is one of the 225 stations around the UK coast. It has a proud history going back to 1803. The station was closed after the terrible disaster of 1928, when the entire crew of seventeen men lost their liveó while attempting to rescue the crew of a Latvian freighter. Their memorial dominates Rye Harbour Churchyard.
The new Rye Harbour Lifeboat pictured shortly after its inaugral lanching in 1966. This was the first time a Rye Harbour Lifeboat had been on the water since the ill fated launching of the Mary Stanford in 1928
The present station can trace its immediate history back to 1966 when an inflatable lifeboat was stationed there. The new boathouse was built in 1995.
The RNLI is proud of its independent status. As a registered charity it has to find around £280,000 every day to run the service. Although there is a national scheme with (Shoreline) membership and subscriptions, please help us locally to support the Lifeboats. The local Rye Harbour Branch, which is closely linked to the Rye Harbour Lifeboat, seeks many levels of membership. First there are those who are invited to provide £2 per year to be part of the Branch. Then we need volunteers who could help during the year, even if only once, during Flag Week for either house to house collections and Flag Selling Day around the Towns and Villages in the area of Rye. Finally we need committee members to help organise our events: annual coffee morning, open gardens, Lifeboat Open Day, lunches and evening events. Whatever and however little you could do, you would be most welcome in the Branch.
If you are interested in helping then please contact the Chairman or Membership Secretary, initially on 01797-222831.
From Rye’s Own August 2004
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