Since the founding of Bembridge Lifeboat, over 900 lives have been saved by generations of volunteer lifeboat crews. The station and successive crews have been awarded by the RNLI two Silver Medals, one Bronze Medal, one ‘Testimonial of Thanks, on Vellum’ and seven ‘Letters of Thanks’.
The current lifeboat crew is headed by the full-time coxswain, Steve Simmonds, assisted by out full time mechanic, Bryan Jones, and approximately 23 local volunteers from a variety of professions, ranging from builders and electricians to a policeman and a property developer. For some of the men, being on the crew is a family tradition that has been passed from father to son since the 1860s.
In addition to the crew there are ten volunteer shorehelpers who launch and recover the lifeboats whenever they go out on a shout or the weekly training exercise.
If you ask any of these volunteers why they give up their spare time to man the lifeboat, dropping everything at a moments notice - whatever the time of day or night - they will all say the same: they just want to give something back to their community.