Untimely death of lyme lifeboat hero

Courageous Lionel misses the party but his family present RNLI with his prized certificate

THE FAMILY of a brave former lifeboatman who died just days before he was due to take part in a special reunion at Lyme Regis have ensured his memory will live on in the town.

Lionel Fisher was looking forward to attending the ceremony to mark the 150th anniversary of a lifeboat service in the resort.

He rang the organisers from his home in Wareham to accept his invitation to the event which was held during Lifeboat Week.

But Lionel who joined the crew in 1964 died suddenly, aged 79, on July 21, just two days before the start of the Week.

Lionel’s family, wife Mary, and children Dave, Andy, Belinda and Jenny, knew exactly what. he would have wanted in the circumstances - they presented his framed certificate for courage from the RNLI to the Lyme Regis lifeboat station on the day of the anniversary he so desperately wanted to attend.

Poignantly, while the celebrations continued on July 28, the family handed over the award which acknowledged that Lionel helped to rescue five people from a capsized cruiser on June 25, 1967.

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Daughter Belinda said: ”Dad was really looking forward to meeting all his old lifeboat friends, and we know he wanted his award to be presented to the station.”

Lionel’s certificate will be hung in the lifeboat station as a permanent record of his courage.

At his funeral in Poole, during Lifeboat Week, wreaths from the Lyme Regis lifeboat crew was among the tributes.