The RNLI saves lives at sea.

Colin Radford

Picture of Colin Radford.

Colin was 42 when he died. He was a peripatetic music teacher, a job he loved. Music was a passion in his life and during that last year he was the musical director of our local operatic company. Since an early age he was involved in the brass band movement both as a player and conductor. Just before he died he went to see Pavarotti.

In August 1989 we were travelling from Portsmouth to St Malo on Brittany Ferries. During the night, my husband Colin somehow went overboard. When I couldn't find him in the morning the French police searched the boat, and, at home in Blackwood, South Wales, the police carried out an intensive investigation, but to no avail.

Then in September, the Eastbourne lifeboat crew found his body. I received a letter from the coxswain in which I was assured that the retrieval of his body was carried out with respect and dignity.

I have, in the ensuing years, tried to support the RNLI in a variety of ways. My own personal experience has shown me the invaluable and often difficult work that the lifeboat crews carry out on a voluntary basis.

If they had not found Colin's body, we as a family couldn't have held a funeral, which was attended by hundreds of people. We were then able to lay him to rest in a place where my daughter, Vertity, and I can lay flowers, which is very special to us.

We in society owe the RNLI a great debt of gratitude. May their life saving work always continue and may we continue to support them so that in future, people such as myself and my daughter, will be helped in ways that can be life-changing.

Added by: Susan Radford on 19 October 2007.

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The RNLI is a charity that provides a 24-hour lifesaving service around the UK and Republic of Ireland.

As a charity, the RNLI relies on your support to carry on saving lives at sea.

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