RNLI thanks 'dedicated women volunteers' who help save lives at sea

The RNLI used this year's International Women's Day to thank the many 'dedicated women' who volunteer to help the charity save lives at sea.

Picture: KT Bruce
Picture: KT Bruce

The RNLI has more than 300 female crew, seven of whom are volunteers at Rye Harbour lifeboat station.

The charity used International Women’s Day, which was on Monday, March 8, 2021, to pay tribute to those many dedicated women volunteers working so hard to continue the work of the RNLI Charity in Saving Lives at Sea.

A spokesman for Rye Harbour Lifeboat station said: "Women of the world want an equal future, one that is sustainable, peaceful and with equal rights and opportunities. Women need to be included where important decisions are being made. This inclusivity and effective participation and leadership drives progress forward for everyone.

Picture: KT Bruce

"For generations women have launched lifeboats and worked alongside other crew to ensure that boats could set sail efficiently and speedily to help people and vessels in distress. More recently, they have crewed the boats and acted as shore crew and have played a vital role in raising funds, many millions of pounds, to help keep the charity afloat."

The RNLI has more than 300 women crew, five female coxswains and forty-four helms.

At Rye Harbour there are seven female crew (one of whom is a designate helm) a press officer and a good proportion of the fund-raising team are women. A third of its lifeguards are women and play a vital role in preventing accidents before they happen with good safely advice and keen stewardship of the shore.

Claire Robus-Bolton, fundraiser, former crew, mother of two female crew and wife of the LOM, Paul Bolton, said: "We have many women coming forward to volunteer at our lifeboat station in the Harbour and they are made to feel welcome and included from the word go. The testament to this fact is just how long they stay. Betty Broocks began as a volunteer in 1964 and is still raising funds for us to this day."

Picture: KT Bruce

It is 50 years since the first woman qualified as an RNLI crew member and all 238 RNLI stations celebrated, on March 8, the vital contributions all the women volunteers make today.

Betty Broocks and the yellow wellie. Picture: KT Bruce