Penlee RNLI marks 40 years since losing Solomon Browne

A flotilla of boats, led by Penlee RNLI, gathered off the former Penlee Lifeboat Station at Penlee Point yesterday (Monday August 30) to lay wreaths in memory of the 16 lives lost on December 19, 1981.

Patch Harvey, coxswain of the Penlee RNLI lifeboat said;

“It has been a true honor to lead the flotilla of past and present lifeboats, and other vessels from Newlyn Harbor to the old Penlee Point Lifeboat Station, and it’s great to see so many people on the water to help us commemorate and mark what is the 40e anniversary of the loss of the Solomon Browne and her crew and those of the Union Star coaster.

We were joined by our colleagues from Sennen Cove and The Lizard, who had also gone out that night 40 years ago and five old lifeboats, including two Tyne class and three Watson class, the same class of dinghy. lifeguard than the Solomon Browne. It was quite a sight to see all the lifeboats all together dressed up with their flags and a very emotional and humbling day.

Janet Madron, President of Lifeboat Management and Andrew Munson, Director of Lifeboat Operations, together lay the wreath from the Penlee All Weather Lifeboat after the names of those lost
in 1981 were read on the hold of the old lifeboat station.

The ceremony took place at the end of the resort’s first open day since the pandemic. The event took place outdoors, with visitors able to board the current Penlee all-weather lifeboat, see old lifeboats up close, and tour the old Penlee boathouse.

Patch said;

“We had a constant flow of visitors and it was really nice seeing people again, chatting and welcoming the supporters and our community to the station. The team and our fundraising volunteers all worked very hard on the day and upstream to organize the event. Their hard work certainly paid off.

A big thank you to all the bakers who generously donated cakes and treats and to all who donated that day. ‘

Reverend Yvonne Hobson led the annual Lifeboat Blessing in Newlyn Harbor, which closed the day. The Mousehole Male Voice Choir leads the vocals.

Notes to Editors

· Please find attached a collection of images that captured the day, credit Phil Monckton

· More information on the Penlee disaster can be found here on the RNLI website

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact Amy Caldwell, Regional Media Manager, on 07920818807 or [email protected] You can also call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336 789 or email pressoffice @ rnli.org.uk.

RNLI key figures

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a round-the-clock search and rescue service around the coasts of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. The RNLI operates 238 lifeguard stations in the UK and Ireland and over 240 lifeguard units on beaches in the UK and the Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent from the Coast Guard and the government and depends on voluntary donations and bequests to maintain its rescue service. Since the founding of the RNLI in 1824, its crews and rescuers have saved more than 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information, please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Press releases, videos and photos are available on the News Center.

Contact the RNLI – public inquiries

Members of the public can contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.


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