RNLI appeal over Kirkcudbright man

A former crew member from Kirkcudbright Lifeboat Station is among 28 people whose names are to be added to the RNLI memorial in Poole, Dorset, which commemorates those who lost their lives at sea while saving others from the early 1800s to the current day.

Now, the RNLI is asking local people if they have anything to add to what’s known about the incident in 1864, which claimed the life of Peter McGinn.

On November 30, 1864, Andrew Lusk attempted to rescue the crew of the schooner Havelock of Beston with his five servants. One of the servants, Peter McGinn, drowned in the rescue attempt.

John Collins, the RNLI lifeboat operations manager at Kirkcudbright, said: “The RNLI memorial in Poole is a tribute to the many hundreds of people who lost their lives at sea while selflessly saving others. We are so pleased that the story of Peter McGinn has come to light – it means he will be always be remembered, and inspire future generations of lifesavers. We have been able to establish some details about the incident but we are keen to find out more. Local people – or even descendants – can share what they know by emailing heritage@rnil.org.uk.”

The additional names will be added to the RNLI memorial at a special dedication ceremony on September 28. Relatives of those being remembered are welcome to attend.

The RNLI memorial, located outside the RNLI College on the charity’s HQ site in Poole – was formally unveiled in September 2009. It is a poignant reminder of the extraordinary self-sacrifice of people who have died at sea while rescuing others. Alongside the names of RNLI crew members are volunteers from lifeboats pre-dating the creation of the charity in 1824. The RNLI memorial also features the names of people from other organisations involved with the charity, who have lost their lives at sea while saving others. The additional 28 names will bring the total number of people remembered to 806.

Designed by sculptor Sam Holland, the memorial is more than 4.5m high and depicts a person in a boat saving another from the water. It is inscribed with the motto of the RNLI’s founder, Sir William Hilary: “With courage, nothing is impossible.”