Among the lifeboat families of England, the Cables, of Aldeburgh, In the County of Suffolk, are outstanding. For over a hundred years five generations have given practically unbroken service, and have helped to save 413 lives.
There was a Cable in the very first crew of the Aldeburgh lifeboat in 1824. and there are four to-day, with others, on the waiting list. The first two Cables, father and son, were drowned on service, one of them while swimming through rough seas with a line to a grounded ship. Although he lost his life, he was able to get the line on board, and by means of it seven men were saved.
Perhaps the most famous of the family was James Cable, coxswain from 1887 to 1917. and still alive, despite his many thrilling adventures in stormy seas. Three times he was awarded the silver medal of the Lifeboat Institution for his gallant services, and in addition, received awards from the ex-Kaiser and the Norwegian and Finnish Governments. Apart from his lifeboat rescues (says the London “Daily Chronicle”), he has been instrumental single-handed in saving eleven people from drowning, and holds the Royal Humane Society’s medal and certificates for these services. One of his greatest feats – though it did not result in his saving any lives – was on January 5, 1881. when he took his boat through 90 miles of a raging winter storm in search of two wrecked ships. In each case lifeboats from stations nearer at hand succeeded in rescuing the crews before he arrived.
Another Cable, Robert, retired last year after 45½ years’ service, during which he had a share in the saving of 170 lives.
Three members of the fourth generation .are in the crew to-day. “Already one of the fifth generation (one of James Cable’s three grandsons) is serving, and another, 12 years of age, is only waiting till he is old enough.
Queensland Times, Wednesday 8 February 1928