Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Robert Charles Brown

Lifeboat 12-23, the 23rd mersey, also known as the 'Robert Charles Brown'. She arrived on station in 1992, cost roughly £750,000 to build, is 37 feet long, made of GRP and is named after a previous Coxswain of Swanage Lifeboat.

Robert Charles Brown was certainly a man to remember. He was a lifeboatman for over 50 years, he sailed and rowed lifeboats as well as motored in them and in 1934, as Assistant Motor Mechanic, was awarded the institutions Bronze medal for his part in a rescue on the 19th March 1934. Going to the assistance of the yacht Hally Lise he spotted a crewman in the water. The man was unconcious. Without hesitation, and still wearing his oilskins, lifebelt and seaboots, he jumped overboard and swam to the drowning man. He then supported them both until the lifeboat was able to turn and pick them out of the water. Robert Charles Brown was later awarded the British Empire Medal for service to the RNLI.

Following in this inspiring man's footsteps is lifeboat 12-23 and her crew. After 14 years on station she has launched nearly 500 hundred times on service and saved more than 90 lives. It would be nice to think that we are doing Robert Charles Brown BEM proud.

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