Saving lifeboat history

Sue Anderson's painting of the listed Mary Stanford Lifeboat House

Every year in November the seventeen members of the Mary Stanford lifeboat crew from the small village of Rye Harbour, who drowned on November 15, 1928, are remembered in a special memorial service.
The lifeboat was rowed out to sea, and the old (historically listed) Lifeboat House was therefore on the shingle beach close to the water’s edge.
Today’s motorised lifeboat has a new station in the shelter of the River Rother at Rye Harbour, but the historic station is a popular subject for artists and photographers (as shown above). However the foundations had recently become exposed by recent wild winds – putting the building at potential risk.
Icklesham Parish Council raised these concerns with the Environment Agency, and the shingle has now been moved back to protect the building’s foundations and protect the memory of this disaster which devastated the village.
The Mary Stanford disaster features in lifeboat history as one of the greatest loss of life ever recorded.
The lifeboat and lifesaving services run by the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) still depend very much on volunteers – and donations. After a number of drownings, the RNLI began to provide lifesaving services on nearby Camber’s beach, which attracts thousands on hot days, last year.

Rye News Library


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