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Actor Bernard Hill abseils down Southwold lighthouse for RNLI

PUBLISHED: 18:05 11 August 2013 | UPDATED: 09:21 12 August 2013

Abseiling down Southwold's iconic lighthouse in aid of the RNLI.

Actor Bernard Hill prepares to make his descent.


Picture: James Bass

Abseiling down Southwold's iconic lighthouse in aid of the RNLI. Actor Bernard Hill prepares to make his descent. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2013

Supporters of Southwold lifeboat braved dizzying heights when they climbed to the top of the town’s 102ft tall lighthouse.

Abseiling down Southwold's iconic lighthouse in aid of the RNLI.


Picture: James BassAbseiling down Southwold's iconic lighthouse in aid of the RNLI. Picture: James Bass

About 50 people abseiled down Southwold Lighthouse today to raise money for the RNLI, and among them was actor Bernard Hill.

Mr Hill, known for his roles in blockbuster films such as Titanic and The Lord of the Rings, is no stranger to the heady heights of Southwold’s 126-year-old landmark having taken part in annual fundraiser for a number of years.

And, once again, the event is expected to raise several thousand pounds for the town’s lifeboat crew.

Yesterday, hundreds of holiday makers and residents gathered on Southwold promenade and cliff tops for the lifeboat’s fun day and to watch Southwold lifeboat perform a sea rescue display.

Abseiling down Southwold's iconic lighthouse in aid of the RNLI.


Picture: James BassAbseiling down Southwold's iconic lighthouse in aid of the RNLI. Picture: James Bass

The Tyne Class Spirit of Lowestoft lifeboat and a Sea King helicopter from RAF Wattisham Air Sea Rescue Squadron also took part in the showcase.

Gary Doy, lifeboat operations manager at the Southwold station, said: “The display went really well this year. I was very pleased.

“We were able to use the helicopter as part of a training exercise between the RAF and us. We showed a run and lift in which crew were lifted on and off the moving boats and helicopter.

“The whole thing was organised by Alan Scoggins, our senior helm.”

While the display took place in the North Sea, families enjoyed some drier activities on shore.

Teams of children competed in a sandcastle competition on the beach below the Sailors’ Reading Room. The contest was sponsored by Suzie’s Beach Café and prizes were presented by the Mayor of Southwold Simon Tobin, a former Southwold lifeboat man, who thanked everyone involved for making the day such a success. A lifeboat has been stationed in Southwold for 150 years.

Currently, there are 18 crew, including a businessman, a builder, three chefs, an airline pilot, two carpenters, a doctor and a teacher.

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