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28th August 2014

Independent Lifeboat celebrates 40 years at Sea Palling

For forty years the independent lifeboat of Sea Palling has been saving lives off the North Norfolk coast. This was marked in a celebration which took place on 25th August.

Going out in all weathers, the lifeboat has been funded completely by efforts by the local community and many of the crew both past and present gathered to witness the occasion which included the blessing of the boat by the Rev Catherine Dobson, the Sea Palling lifeboat chaplain, the rector of the Coastal group of parishes.

One of the lifeboat's founders and local resident Barry Clarke who was in the original crew has been followed as Crew members by his sons Jason and Dickie and now his grandson (Dickie's son) Jack has joined the crew at the age of sixteen.

Although the rain on the day did limit the fund raising activities there was still over £1,000 raised for the lifeboat.

One of the founder fund raisers, the former landlady of the Old Hall Inn, Audrey Skipper aged 78 was there for the ceremony.

There was a RNLI lifeboat in the early part of the last century but the service closed in 1930. After two girls were almost drowned in 1972 the villagers decide to start a movement to re-establish a lifeboat service for the local community. As the RNLI could not provide one the Palling Volunteer Rescue Service was set up and raised £20,000 - enough to build the lifeboat station and purchase the boat.

According to Paul Dale the coxswain, it now costs that amount to keep the service running each year, so fund raising is an ongoing concern for the crew and the local community.

With thirteen call outs already this year the lifeboat is the busiest in Norfolk and hopefully local businesses will provide funding to keep this vital service going.