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Huge Turnout for Staithes RNLI former crewman

Lifeboats News Release

One of the district’s biggest funerals in recent memory was seen on Friday as Staithes said goodbye to former lifeboatman Willie Wright.

More than 400 crowded into St. Hilda’s, Hinderwell including seafaring friends and RNLI colleagues from up and down the North East coast. Other mourners had to be left outside in the churchyard.

The cortege began its journey on Staithes harbour front where a full complement of Staithes and Runswick RNLI provided a guard of honour and moved slowly through the village. It was led by David Porritt, the station’s Launch Operations Manager, carrying the standard of the RNLI.

The coffin, draped in the flag of the RNLI, was carried into St. Hilda's by past and present members of Staithes and Runswick RNLI, where Willie Wright was a crewman for 17 years. It was given a second guard of honour as it entered the church by RNLI members and saluted by a troop of H.M. Coastguard.

In his address, the Rev. Alan Coates, the station chaplain, said the huge attendance showed exactly how deeply Willie’s friends felt about him. 'Once you met Willie you never forgot him. He was a man of many parts with a diversity of interests - though they all had a strong connection with his beloved Staithes . There’ll never be another Willie Wright and we are all the poorer for his passing. Staithes has lost a true son.'

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For more information please contact Grant McKee, RNLI Volunteer Press Officer on: 07801 257614.


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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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