Tributes paid to loyal member of the Penlee lifeboat family

Tributes have been pouring in to honour a “dedicated”, “loyal” and “selfless” retired lifeboat crew member who passed away this week.

Nimrod Bawden – known as Nim – had been one of two of the last surviving crew members to ever serve on the Solomon Browne before it went down taking the lives of six crew in the 1981 Penlee lifeboat disaster.

He served until 1975, standing alongside many of those who were to be lost in the tragedy six years later.

As a youngster Nim, of Mousehole, had been a ‘runner’ before first joining the crew in 1957.

Posting a tribute to its Facebook page on July 13, Penlee Lifeboat said: “It’s another sad day for Penlee Lifeboat Station – our flag is flying at half mast in tribute to retired crew member Nimrod Bawden, father of our lifeboat press officer, who passed away earlier today.

“Nim joined the Penlee Lifeboat under Coxswain Jack Worth in 1957. He was a ‘runner’ before joining the crew, and would regularly sprint from his cottage in Mousehole to the lifeboat station at Penlee Point to assist with the launching process – his beloved RNLI jumper was always ready and waiting just in case!

“In 1960 Nim joined the Solomon Browne lifeboat, first as bowman and then as assistant mechanic, taking part in many long and arduous shouts, including the Jeanne Gougy, Juan Ferrer, Torrie Canyon, Temeraire, and the Firth Fisher, to name but a few – he was a loyal, dedicated, hard working, well respected volunteer with the heart of a lion… he served until 1975.. the lifeboat always came first.

“Our thoughts are with Eve, Elaine, Emma, Harriet and all his family. Another loyal member of our lifeboat family has crossed the bar…”

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Leading the tributes, Barbara Hocking said: “Sincere condolences on the loss of such a dedicated and devoted RNLI member and thank you so very gratefully for your service sir. RIP”

Andrew Mortimer-Ricks said: “A real star we will miss you,time spent with Nim and his tales were always a laugh and will stay will me forever. A real gentleman RIP.”

Sennen Cove Lifeboat Station also paid tribute to the hero, saying: “So sorry to hear this sad news, Our thoughts and prayers go out to Elaine, her family and all at Penlee. Nim devoted many years to serving the RNLI, ‘An Iron man in a wooden boat’. RIP.”

Andrew Parker, said: “So sorry to hear this… My heartfelt sympathies go to the family, and to you close friends that had the privilege to know this guy well. I remember briefly chatting to him by chance, years ago in Mousehole. Fair wind and following sea… Ride those waves Sir.”

Barbara Hillier said: “Sadly crossed the bar but what a legacy he has left for his family the Lifeboat family the hero in every way an honourable selfless man thank you sir.”

Robin Bale added: “Fair winds Nim, condolences to the family and to all at Penlee station from Bude RNLI x”

Nim pictured with Penlee lifeboat crew members
Nim pictured with Penlee lifeboat crew members

Barmouth Lifeboat said: “Sorry to hear this sad news. Condolences and thoughts to Elaine, all the family and his RNLI family at this sad time. Fair winds and following seas Nim xx”

His daughter Elaine Bawden, added: “Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments about my darling dad, they are a huge comfort to us all. He was always so proud to wear his RNLI jumper and to have been part of the Penlee family.”


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