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Emergency arises during royal visit to Northumberland

Members of Northumberland’s Lifeboat crew were given only half an hour to prepare for a royal visit, only for them to be called out to an emergency as the royal VIP guest arrived.

The Seahouses RNLI team were only told yesterday morning that The Duke of Kent would be arriving at their base in 30 minutes time!

However, when The Duke landed at the base, crew members were scrambled to search for a missing kite surfer.

A spokesman last night joked that the call out had not been staged but said it could not have been timed better.

On Wednesday, The Duke also visited stations at Berwick-upon-Tweed and Craster, as well as the charity’s museum dedicated to the story of 19th century shipwreck heroine Grace Darling at Bamburgh.

Unexpectedly, some free time cropped up in The Duke’s day two schedule, so a call was made to the team at Seahouses informing them The Duke would be arriving in half an hour to fill up the free time.

Crew members had been on training the previous night and, apparently, had left the station in a mess. They had to clean and hoover before the VIP arrived.

The crew were just about to greet The Duke just as their beepers went off which notifies them of an emergency. They had to immediately leave to carry out a search for a missing kite surfer.

The Queen’s cousin looked on as the crews were ready to enter the water within minutes of receiving the alert. Shortly after, a second call then came with the news that the surfer had been found safe and well on land.

Lifeboat operations manager Ian Clayton explained: “I think some thought we had stage managed the call out, but it couldn’t have been better timed for the benefit of our royal visitor!”

The boats were returned to the station just in time so The Duke could finally be able to speak to the crew members and the site’s souvenir shop volunteer.

Featured photo credit: Dave Hamster via photopin cc

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