Three Mudeford RNLI crew members will be attending a garden party at Buckingham Palace

A special party is being held at the palace in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the RNLI.

The event on May 23 will bring together around 2,500 of the RNLI’s long-serving volunteers, staff and their families and will also feature an Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat in the palace grounds.

Representing Mudeford RNLI are volunteer helms, Pete Dadds and Justin O’Connell and former crew member and now lifeboat station treasurer, Kevin Dingley.

Between them they have more than 100 years experience volunteering with the RNLI.

Pete, a local fisherman, joined the Mudeford lifeboat crew in 1989. He said: “Having been with Mudeford RNLI for over two thirds of my life, I have seen the station evolve and adapt to meet the needs of the community and I feel very proud and privileged to be part of such a great crew.”

Bournemouth Echo: RNLI file imageRNLI file image (Image: RNLI Poole Lifeboat Station)

Justin, who joined the crew 20 years ago, said: “A good friend on the crew pushed me to join and I have never looked back. When the pager goes off, we rarely know what situation we will face out on the water, but we are all there for each other and focused on getting to those in difficulty as quickly as possible and saving lives.”

Kevin added: “Since I was 16 I have been a part of Mudeford RNLI. Growing up around Mudeford Quay, I knew the local fishermen and was asked to join the crew.”

Peter, Justin, and Kevin all said: “When you join the Mudeford Lifeboat Station crew you become part of an amazing family who are committed to helping people in difficulty.

"We feel very honoured to be invited by his Majesty The King to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the RNLI and we hope others will be inspired to join and continue the charity’s vital work, saving lives at sea."

RNLI chief executive Mark Dowie said: "We are incredibly honoured that His Majesty The King has granted permission for the RNLI 200th Anniversary Garden Party to take place at Buckingham Palace in celebration of 200 years of saving lives at sea.”