Pirate FM News

WATCH: Song to remember the Solomon Browne

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 10:46am 19th December 2017. (Updated at 11:07am 19th December 2017)

The lights in Mousehole will go dim to remember those who lost their lives in the Penlee lifeboat tragedy.

It is 36 years since her eight crew drowned trying to rescue the people on board a stricken freighter.

The Solomon Browne battled 100mph winds and 60ft high waves, but never made it home.

The tragedy left 12 children in the village without their dads, just days before Christmas.

The Christmas lights will be dimmed between 8pm and 9pm on 19th December, as a mark of respect.

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Cornishman Nigel owned one of the fishing boats called to help, the morning after the lifeboat was lost.

He said: "Everybody always knew the lifeboat men. At the end of the day, we know that they would always turn up, regardless of the weather, they would come and find you and rescue you; we knew that of them.

"But you have to remember, it wasn't just a lifeboat crew - the entire crew of the Union Star lost their lives that day.

"It took a while to unfold and it was difficult really.

"As soon as we could, those boats that were able to were clearly out and about from the harbour trying to aid and help, but the weather was still horrendous".

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Within a day of the disaster, Mousehole had formed a new lifeboat crew - but the memory of those who lost their lives continues.

Pete Truin runs a shanty choir that recorded a song in memory of the Solomon Browne, released ahead of last year's anniversary.

Trad Academy posted on Facebook in 2016: "In October this year the Trad Academy Sea Shanty Choir was incredibly privileged and honoured to be invited to sing at the Old Penlee Lifeboat station in Newlyn, Cornwall.

"The station has stood empty since the 19th of December 1981 when the lifeboat Solomon Browne (ON 954) launched in hurricane force winds to assist the coaster Union Star which had engine failure and was being swept towards the southern coast of Cornwall.

"After the Solomon Browne had managed to rescue four people, radio contact was lost. On that fateful night six days before Christmas both vessels were wrecked losing all hands; in total sixteen people lost their lives including the eight volunteer crew of the Penlee Lifeboat".

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'The Ballad of Lifeboat 954' was written by choir leader Pete Truin.

It tells the story of that dramatic rescue and pays tribute to the heroic crew who made the ultimate sacrifice that night, and the families that they left behind.

Watch the emotional video, that is raising money for the RNLI...

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