The crew of the Penlee Lifeboat lost at sea attempting a rescue where no others dared and the Cornishman who saved thousands of lives in 9/11 have been recognised today with trains named after them.

The families of the crewmembers of the lifeboat Solomon Browne met with Susan Rescorla, the widow of the late Rick Rescorla, at an emotional ceremony carried out by Great Western Railway.

The lifeboat crew and Mr Rescorla were both nominated in a poll of 100 Great Westerners to have an Intercity Express Train named after them.

This took place earlier today, at the Great Western Railway (GWR) Long Rock train depot open day in Penzance.

Falmouth Packet:

The crew of the Solomon Browne

Falmouth Packet:

Rick Rescorla

A spokesperson for Penlee Lifeboat said: “What an amazing day at the GWR open day where some of Cornwall’s heroes were recognised.

“An emotional day for us all.”

The crew of the Solomon Browne Lifeboat were lost at sea in 1981 when it launched to rescue the passengers and crew of the MV Union Star.

Onboard the lifeboat were coxswain William Trevelyan Richards, mechanic James Madron, Nigel Brockman, Charles Greenhaugh, John Blewett, Kevin Smith, Barrie Torrie and Gary Wallis. All their names are written on the side of the train.

Rick Rescorla, originally from Hayle, was working for Morgan Stanley in the South Tower of the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001 when the second of two aircraft hit the towers.

Sparing no thought for himself, he led others to safety, singing Cornish songs as they went, and his actions that day are credited with saving 2,700 lives.

Falmouth Packet:

Susan Rescorla, wife of the late Rick Rescorla, with Penlee branch chairman, Janet Madron, wife of the late Stephen Madron. Photo: Penlee Lifeboat

At today’s naming ceremony, Mr Rescorla’s wife Susan had an emotional meeting with Penlee lifeboat press officer Elaine Trethowan, who by extraordinary coincidence was working as a police family liaison officer in 2001, in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attack.

She had been seconded from Devon and Cornwall Police to the Metropolitan Police and would speak to Susan in an America on a daily basis, also supporting Rick’s family in Hayle.

Today was the first time that Elaine and Susan had met in person.

Falmouth Packet:

An emotional meeting for Susan Rescorla and our Penlee Lifeboat press officer Elaine Trethowan, a former police liason officer Photo: Penlee Lifeboat

Susan also met with Penlee Lifeboat’s branch chairman Janet Madron, wife of Stephen Madron who lost his life onboard the Solomon Browne, and presented her with a cheque for the lifeboat.

Penlee’s heritage and visits officer Martin Brockman, youngest son of Nigel Brockman, who also went down with the lifeboat, was given the honour of naming the train RNLB Solomon Browne, whilst holding his father’s Dad’s RNLI Bronze Medal.

A print of the new train was presented by GWR and will now be hung in the lifeboat station.

Falmouth Packet:

A GWR print presented to Janet Madron by Matthew Golton, GWR commercial development director. Photo: Penlee Lifeboat

GWR managing director Mark Hopwood said: “The loss of the Solomon Browne is still felt here in Cornwall and we are honoured to be able to remember them in this way.

“The railway is such an important part of the community and this is a fitting tribute to those who played such a vital role.”

All proceeds from today’s open day are being donated to Penlee Lifeboat station.