The wedding reception of Cullercoats RNLI helmsman Ben Bradshaw and his new wife Kim was interrupted on Saturday (17th June) when the volunteer crews’ pagers - who were guests at the wedding - summoned them to launch their lifeboat... during the wedding reception!

Humber Coastguard requested the launch of Cullercoats RNLI lifeboat at 3.23pm, following a call about a broken down boat which had suffered engine failure near St Mary’s Lighthouse.

At the time of the pager alert, the wedding guests were just about to be served their meal and enjoy the speeches from the groom and best man at a nearby hotel.

However 3 crew members immediately made their way from the reception party to the lifeboat station and were ready to launch within minutes.

Once at the boat, which was drifting without power because of mechanical and electric failure, the lifeboat secured a tow rope and brought it back to the marina in the river Tyne.

The returning lifeboat could be seen by all the guests from the Grand Hotel in Tynemouth from where the reception was held.

Some 90 minutes later the crew returned to the hotel to a rousing round of applause from the party and back to their roast beef dinner, which had been well earned.

The well anticipated speeches by the groom Ben Bradshaw and best man Scott Jones were delayed until the volunteer crew returned, so nothing was missed.

RNLI themed flowers at the wedding reception Credit: RNLI/Michael Scott

‘We had a wonderful day, but unfortunately the pagers went off right as the guests were about to eat. The three crew who left didn’t hesitate to go and help in rescuing the people on that boat.

Ben Bradshaw
The view from the wedding reception venue Credit: RNLI/Michael Scott