In May, the Polperro Museum’s 10-oared 1902 pulling, sailing lifeboat Ryder was taken by road to Courtmacsherry, Ireland for an Irish crew to revisit the site of the loss of the Cunard liner Lusitania.
On May 7 1915 a German U-boat sank the Lusitania off the Irish coast. The Courtmacsherry 12 oared lifeboat was rowed the 12 miles out to the wreck, but sadly only found floating bodies. There were 761 survivors, but 1,198 were drowned and that caused the United States to be drawn into World War I. Unfortunately on the planned day of the re-enactment row the strong westerly wind prevented the Ryder from going to sea, and she was just rowed around the harbour.
In May, the restored ex-Aldeburgh lifeboat Lucy Lavers left Wells-next-the- Sea, north Norfolk to make the 385-mile round trip to join 50 other craft for the Dunkirk Evacuation reunion. In 1940 the brand new Lucy Lavers had been towed from Ramsgate to Dunkirk by the Lowestoft trawler Golden Sunbeam. It was the second to last day of the evacuation and the beach had been abandoned but Lucy Lavers collected French troops from the harbour mole and was then towed back to Ramsgate.
There had been a rush to get the restored Lucy Lavers ready for the voyage and the sails had not been rigged. When on passage around the East Anglia coast there was a meeting of three lifeboats, off Aldeburgh; the 1961 Buckie lifeboat Laura Moncur, Aldeburgh’s Freddie Cooper and the Lucy Lavers.
In July, the 38ft 1907 RNLI lifeboat Charles Henry Ashley is due to sail around the Isle of Anglesey. This restored 12-oared lifeboat does not have an engine and is based in Cemaes Bay.