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Long Service Award for two Littlehampton RNLI helmsmen

Lifeboats News Release

Ritchie Southerton and Ross Bowman, both volunteer crewmembers and helmsmen at Littlehampton RNLI lifeboat station have received the RNLI’s Long Service Award in recognition of their twenty plus years’ service to the charity that saves lives at sea.

Ritchie and Ross at the Awards Ceremony

RNLI/Ray Pye

Ritchie and Ross at the Awards Ceremony

Ritchie and Ross both joined the Littlehampton volunteer crew in 1996. Ritchie has also spent time with the Thames Lifeboats.

Their dedicated service, experience, expertise and support are greatly valued by everyone at the lifeboat station. Ritchie and his wife along with Ross and his partner, recently attended a celebration at the Guildhall in London where they received their Long Service Awards from the RNLI, in recognition of their time served.

Ritchie, who has worked as a police officer and test driver for Rolls Royce, is about to take his boating skills and knowledge to the Antarctica to work for the British Antarctic Survey for six months, as a boating officer.

When he returns to the UK he will continue responding to his pager and conducting training at Littlehampton Lifeboat Station. When Ross is not responding to his pager, he can be found working in the construction industry as an appointed person and mobile crane operator.

They both join a small group of current and previous volunteer lifeboat crew from Littlehampton RNLI who have served more than 20 years.

RNLI media contacts

  • Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East) on 0207 6207416, 07786 668825 email
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789
Ritchie on board

RNLI/Ray Pye

Ritchie onboard
Ross on board

RNLI/Ray Pye

Ross on board

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland