Since the founding of Bembridge Lifeboat in1867, over 1,000 people have been rescued 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, Guy Willing, assisted by our full time mechanic, John Attrill, and approximately 23 local volunteers (including one female) 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.