A life-saving service dedicated to helping those in need or distress is celebrating its 40th anniversary and is asking for original members to come forward.

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This year marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of the first independent lifeboat at Sea Palling.

To celebrate the occasion, events are planned on Sea Palling beach on Monday August 25 at 2.30pm and the local charity is asking for anyone who was involved with setting up the first boat 40 years ago to get in touch.

The free event will start with a dedication ceremony for Lion Heart, the current lifeboat, followed by a barbecue and fun activities.

Following the closure of the RNLI station in Sea Palling in the early years of the 20th century, the popular seaside village was without a lifeboat until the summer of 1972, when two near drownings off the coast spurred locals into action.

The first independent lifeboat, the Hearts of Oak was bought and launched in 1974.

The lifeboat has already had more than 12 call-outs this season.

A trend emerging is that people regularly get stuck, or in trouble, in the nine reefs which can create a lagoon around Sea Palling.

Coxswain Paul Dale said: “The boat is very busy. Sea Palling attracts huge numbers of visitors and locals in the summer months and the shore here is popular with divers and jet skiers as well, so we are often asked to help. We are celebrating keeping the independent lifeboat service going for 40 years this summer and we’d love to hear from people who were involved in the early days.”

■ For more information email seapallinglifeboat@live.co.uk or call Jess Parker on 078911 60476.

■ Have you got a lifeboat story? Email tracey.gray@archant.co.uk

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