Portpatrick Volunteers Celebrate 200 Years Of The RNLI At Buckingham Palace

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) celebrated its 200th anniversary in style with a special garden party at Buckingham Palace yesterday (23 May).


Around 2,500 of the RNLI’s long-serving volunteers, staff and their families attended

the RNLI 200th Anniversary Garden Party in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal, accompanied by Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, and RNLI President HRH The Duke of Kent.


Among those who attended from across the charity were lifeboat crew, lifeguards, water safety volunteers, fundraisers and recent recipients of meritorious service awards and The King’s Birthday and New Year Honours. Portpatrick RNLI Lifeboat was proudly represented by long serving volunteer Alick Rintoul who will receive his 30 year long service award as volunteer crew member this year, and his wife Louise.


Alick first volunteered  for the RNLI in Stranraer in 1994 and then moved to Portpatrick in 1997. Louise is a member of the fundraising team at Portpatrick and has recently taken on the role of treasurer.


Alick said: ‘It has been an incredible honour to have been invited to the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. The day has been really enjoyable, and it’s been a pleasure to attend along with crews from all around the country and our partners. Louise and I are extremely proud to represent the teams at both Portpatrick and Stranraer.’


RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie said: ‘It was an honour to meet so many of our long-serving volunteers, staff and their families and to thank them personally for their unwavering commitment. They are all lifesavers.’
‘We thank our Patron, His Majesty The King, for granting permission for the RNLI 200th Anniversary Garden Party to take place at Buckingham Palace in celebration of 200 years of saving lives at sea, and The Duke of Kent who has been hugely supportive of our charity throughout the past 55 years as our President.’


Since the RNLI was founded on 4 March 1824, following an appeal to the nation from Sir William Hillary, the charity has saved more than 146,277 lives – this equates to an average of two lives saved every day for 200 years.


Today, the RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations around the UK and Ireland, including four on the River Thames, and has seasonal lifeguards on around 240 lifeguarded beaches around the UK.