Page last updated at 12:08 GMT, Monday, 13 October 2008 13:08 UK

Charity song inspired by disaster

Seth Lakeman at Perranporth
Seth Lakeman says he was inspired by the 25th anniversary of the disaster

Devon folk musician Seth Lakeman has released his latest single in aid of the RNLI.

The Story of Solomon Browne is about the Penlee lifeboat disaster of December 1981.

Sixteen people, including eight lifeboatmen lost their lives off the south coast of Cornwall.

The proceeds from the song's sales will go towards the RNLI SOS Day appeal, which aims to raise 1m for the charity and takes place on 30 January 2009.

On 19 December 1981, the Penlee lifeboat, Solomon Browne, was called out from the Cornish village of Mousehole to a vessel in distress, the MV Union Star.

Despite several attempts to rescue the crew, the lifeboat never returned.

The song is about the bravery and courage of those eight volunteer lifeboatmen who went to sea and lost their lives
Seth Lakeman

Eight crew were lost on the Solomon Browne, one of the worst disasters in the history of the RNLI.

Another eight people were lost from the Union Star, including four taken off the vessel by the lifeboat.

Dave Nichol, the RNLI's area fundraising manager in Cornwall, was a volunteer crewman in Falmouth at the time of the disaster.

He said: "There was a terrible gale, probably one of the worst for years.

"When the news broke the next day it was a bright, sunny morning.

"It was a strange feeling to hear that the night before eight brave crew from Penlee had been lost."

Lakeman said: "When I was working on my album in December 2006 it was the 25th anniversary of the Penlee lifeboat disaster, which inspired Solomon Browne."

He added: "The song is about the bravery and courage of those eight volunteer lifeboatmen who went to sea and lost their lives."

Lakeman said he could remember his father Geoff covering the story as a journalist.

Village honours lifeboat disaster
20 Dec 06 |  Cornwall
New lifeboat named
30 Sep 03 |  Cornwall


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