Hoylake RNLI crew attend Royal Garden Party marking 200 years of lifesaving

Hoylake RNLI lifeboat crew were among 2,500 RNLI volunteers, staff, their families and guests attending a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on Thursday, 23 May, in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the lifesaving charity.

His Majesty The King granted permission for the RNLI 200th Anniversary Garden Party, which was hosted by HRH The Princess Royal, accompanied by Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, and HRH The Duke of Kent.

Earlier this month, it was announced that The King would be continuing the Royal Patronage of the RNLI, succeeding Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The Duke of Kent has been President of the RNLI since 1969, during which time volunteer lifeboat crews and beach lifeguards have saved more than 51,000 lives. Sir Tim Laurence is also a Vice President of the lifesaving charity and former Deputy Chair.

Among those attending from across the charity were long-serving lifeboat crew, lifeguards, water safety volunteers, fundraisers and recent recipients of meritorious service awards and UK National Honours.

Seven volunteers from Hoylake RNLI lifeboat station were invited to enjoy tea with their guests in the Buckingham Palace gardens.

Celebrating 30 years of long service were Hoylake RNLI Coxswain Howie Owen and his partner Vicky, Deputy 2nd Coxswain Andy Dodd and his wife Lou, and Launch Authority Ian Davies and his wife Tracy, who is also a shore crew member.

Celebrating 20 years of long service were crew member Emily Jones and her mum Cheryl, and crew member James Whiteley and his wife Nicola.

Also attending to celebrate a recent RNLI Excellence in Volunteering Award were Hoylake RNLI crew member and Lifeboat Press Officer Dan Whiteley and his wife Siân.

Hoylake RNLI crew member and Area Lifesaving Manager Chris Gaskin and his wife Catherine joined the celebrations as the RNLI thanked its staff for their commitment to saving lives.

Coxswain Howie Owen said, “On behalf of all the crew and guests from Hoylake RNLI, it was a huge privilege to be invited to celebrate the RNLI’s 200th anniversary at this special occasion with so many other dedicated lifesaving volunteers. The sun shone, the military band played, and we all had an unforgettable time.”

RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie said, “We are incredibly honoured that His Majesty The King has granted permission for the RNLI 200th Anniversary Garden Party to take place at Buckingham Palace in celebration of 200 years of saving lives at sea.

“Our hosts, The Princess Royal, The Duke of Kent and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, have been hugely supportive of our charity over many decades and it will be a huge honour and privilege for many of our volunteers and staff to meet them.

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of the RNLI and I am looking forward to being able to thank them personally, along with their equally dedicated families and our long-serving staff members, for their courage and commitment to saving lives.”

Image: Volunteers and their guests from Hoylake RNLI lifeboat station enjoyed afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the RNLI’s 200th anniversary. Credit: Hoylake RNLI

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