Tiny replica lifeboat saves charity’s cash

THE team at a lifeboat station couldn’t believe it when they were presented with the contents of a charity tin which had somehow survived a devastating boatyard blaze.

A roaring fire ripped through the historic Aldeburgh Boatyard Company on the morning of April 28, causing thousands of pounds of damage to the business.

Inside the yard office was an RNLI collection tin, shaped like a traditional lifeboat.

The tin survived the incredible temperatures created by the blaze and, like a phoenix from the ashes, when opened, it contained more than �20 – including a crisp �10 note donated by a generous member of the public.

The tin and its contents have now been handed over to the Aldeburgh Lifeboat Station crew and will take pride of place on display.


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Steve Saint, Aldeburgh coxswain, said the tin looked “somewhat worse for wear” but showed that all RNLI boats, however small, were “built to last” and resist anything.

He said: “It was incredible, just like a phoenix rising from the ashes we have a lifeboat tin with an undamaged �10 note and some coins.

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“I think we are going to have to take note of this – our lifeboats are built to withstand everything that the British climate and sea can throw at us.

“And here we have a collection tin keeping up that high standard and being built to last.

“It was indeed a tragic day for the whole of Aldeburgh when the boatyard, such a central part of our community, went up in flames.

“But little did we think that the collection tin would keep afloat and withstand the unimaginable temperature of such a fire.

“The tin has taken pride of place in the Aldeburgh lifeboat station where it is a talking point for the thousands of schoolchildren taken on tours.”

The boatyard blaze caused hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage and destroyed four boats.

Most of the RNLI’s 40,000-strong workforce are volunteers and the charity relies entirely on donations and legacies in order to keep saving thousands of lives every year.

For more information about the RNLI and how you can make a donation, visit www.rnli.org.uk

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