Service Not Self

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Mark R
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Service Not Self

Post by Mark R »

For some reason I did not know this tale until this summer. I was quite moved by it.

http://southwestseakayaking.co.uk/2007/ ... -not-self/
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YvonneB
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Post by YvonneB »

Was it not after Penlee that they brought in the self righting lifeboat?

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naefearjustbeer
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Post by naefearjustbeer »

I was at the lifeboat station in Wick last night. the motorbike club I belong to were presenting a cheque so we got a tour of the lifeboat and a promise of a trip out in better weather. We had a good explanation of what everything does and the self righting abillities of the boat. Quite impressive peice of equipment and big respect to the lads and lasses than crew it. It must be a very hard job sometimes and I think in days gone by it would have been even harder.

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Post by David P »

Mark - I'm amazed this has passed you by. I'll find and send you a copy of the (fairly recent) BBC documentary on this - you must see it. It's VERY moving. What's most impressive is the calm, controlled (recorded) VHF radio voice from the coxswain of the Solomon Browne, reporting to the coastguard whilst negotiating mountainous waves around the casualty.

No sea user with a conscience could watch this and not sign up to pay money to the RNLI. (I've another excuse, I was mugged by a pretty, personable and persuasive young lady at the Southampton Boat Show a few years ago who wanted to help me "upgrade" my subscription. Inspired marketing!)
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Post by Zoe Newsam »

David P wrote: ... the (fairly recent) BBC documentary on this - you must see it. It's VERY moving. What's most impressive is the calm, controlled (recorded) VHF radio voice from the coxswain of the Solomon Browne, reporting to the coastguard whilst negotiating mountainous waves around the casualty.
I'll second that- it's an excellent documentary, and a truly extraordinary story.
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Post by Nick P »

I can remember this vividly. At the time I was working aboard a mackerel handliner out of Newlyn - a fleet of boats from Looe had moved there to fish over the winter. Generally the weather was very poor, but that night was something else and even moored in harbour the boats were 'working' (chafing, creaking) hard. We only learned of the tragedy in the morning and words cannot describe the atmosphere amongst the local fleet - terrible! And the sea - I'd never seen ground sea like that before. I agree, the calm, matter of fact tone in the VHF traffic is truly haunting, and especially the last part where CG repeated call Solomon Browne. I didn't realise until the documentary that at one point the lifeboat was carried onto the deck of the Union Star. Remarkable seamanship that the lifeboat initially managed to take off some of the crew under those conditions.
The Penlee tragedy together with losses of fishing boats and crews from Looe partly shaped my own path in volunteering as lifeboat crew when our RNLI station was formed in 1992. Incidentally, the current Penlee coxwain Neil Brockman is the son of Nigel Brockman who was one of those lost from Solomon Browne.
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Post by Adrian Cooper »

That is truly a moving story. I have only a vague memory of the incident from news stories at the time but have not before read any detailed account. The RNLI is one of the few organisations we, as a club, contribute to. I am so glad we do.

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Post by Mark R »

Thanks David - I've now watched this and it's an excellent documentary, puts the lost crewmen in their local community context without pointlessly eulogising their heroism, which is there to be seen and heard throughout in the recorded evidence utilised.
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Post by rockhopper »

I've go to say that even just thinking about the bravery of those men makes tears well up in my eyes. Gobsmacking, heroic, self sacrifice. I have the utmost respect for all the lifeboat crews and the fact that it is all voluntary makes it even more amazing.
It has always been the Solomon Browne incident and the other one at Porlock in North Devon when they dragged the Lynmouth lifeboat overland demolishing gateways and parts of buildings as they went in order to allow the boat to pass that have had a lasting impression on me.

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Post by AllanC »

I also heard about this story for the first time when the documentary was on around Christmas time. It happened before I was born but my father was at sea at the time, and from what he says heard the whole thing over the ship's radio.

If anyone wants to know more I'd thoroughly recommend this book:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Penlee-Loss-Lif ... 190&sr=8-1

It is an unbiased, clear and sympathetic analysis of the whole tragedy, and a portion of the sales goes to the RNLI Penlee branch.

Bonnie, according to this book the self-righting AWB's were already coming into service, with an Arun class boat coming from the Scillies that night to help with the search.

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Re: Service Not Self

Post by Vinia »

For anyone who hasn't seen the documentary, or wants to see it again, it's on BBC4 tonight at 10pm.

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Re: Service Not Self

Post by Mark R »

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Re: Service Not Self

Post by Strad »

Documentary is on at this very moment..BBC 4
Old School?? I miss my AQII..
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Re: Service Not Self

Post by wideblueyonder »

Caught the last 2/3 of this tonight - superb documentary.

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Re: Service Not Self

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Re: Service Not Self

Post by GaryM »

This brought back memories from over 40 years ago, just before I left school, when, with my parents, I watched as the upturned Longhope lifeboat was towed into Scrabster harbour. Like Penlee all the crew were volunteers, and it was a tragedy for their families and local community.
Like it says in the BBC link, the weather was diabolocal, but still they launched into conditions like that! What more can you say about men like these, other than they are indeed heros, and should not be forgotten?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/nor ... 946923.stm

http://www.longhopevillage.co.uk/news/i ... iew&id=103

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Re: Service Not Self

Post by adrian j pullin »

There is an excellent telling of the events by local song master Seth Lakeman on:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Poor-Mans-Heave ... 027&sr=8-5
Cheers

Adrian J Pullin
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"No! Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try." - Yoda
Kayak lore: "He who capsizes must also roll".

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Re: Service Not Self

Post by joyjohn »

This is a link to the BBC reports from 20 Dec 1981 http://news.bbc.co.uk/player/nol/newsid ... ue&bbcws=2

And more here http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/date ... 539173.stm.

You now know why the Christmas Lights are turned off on 19 December each year.
Have two Scorpios !

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