Last night saw the Laying Up Supper for the Audlem Lass team at Overwater Marina where the coxswains and their wives enjoyed a splendid buffet produced by Debbie and Vernon.
Rod Cottrell thanked the team of over twenty crew who had contributed so much to The Big Switch On two nights earlier, Audlem Lass' last engagement of the year which saw 205 floating candles sold, itself a magical sight.
And, we are told, the candles were a useful navigational aid for the boat's crew as they delivered Santa safely at the Wharf.
In the four years since Audlem Lass has been sailing between the marina and Lock 15, over 17,000 passengers have been carried.
In return, the guests thanked Rod and Christine for a splendidly organised evening followed by a rousing chorus of 'For he's a Jolly Good Fellow.'
The coxswains had, earlier in the week, found their singing voices as they joined in the 'Amazing Grace' recording at the marina. By an amazing coincidence, as they sang, a boat left the marina – see the photo. It was called 'Grace'!
Louise Barth of the RNLI spoke next, thanking the team for all their successful fund-raising.
She reminded all what the charity is all about, with 8,000 rescues in 2013 including 325 lives saved. The RNLI also mans 200 beaches and 21,000 were rescued with an estimated 100 lives saved.
Curiously, the busiest station is at the Tower on the Thames where, amazingly, 31 of their rescues was to aircraft.
There are now 236 lifeboat stations, one extra opening this year and two more about to come on stream.
RNLI boat building is entirely British with Shannon's being built at Poole, Dorset, the other two boat types being Tamars and Severns.
The Shannons are state of the art 25 knot craft and a new Shannon will be arriving spectacularly at Hoylake on the Wirral tomorrow.
Louise concluded by thanking all present for the great success of Audlem Lass over the past four years.
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