Lifesaver Andy swaps the Thames for RNLI Lyme Regis
The latest recruit to join the volunteers who crew Lyme Regis' RNLI lifeboat is swapping the River Thames for Lyme Bay.
Andy Butterfield,42, joined the RNLI at Teddington 13 years ago and has just moved to Uplyme with this wife Jacqui and children Harry,7, and Alexandra,11.
'It's a massive difference operating on the Thames to going to sea, so there's plenty of learning to be done,' said Andy.
'The decision to move was made on work/life balance, and we felt we wanted to enjoy the coast and countryside as much as possible.'
Andy was a crew member for six years, and helm of the D-class lifeboats on the Thames for a further seven years.
'The Thames involved much first-aid work, and assisting the police and other emergency services, and many of our shouts were at night.'
Despite his years on the Thames Andy, who works in I.T.as a customer experience specialist, is currently a trainee crew member at the lifeboat station on the Cobb illustrating the huge difference between the two locations.
'Like many of my volunteer colleagues I joined the RNLI because I wanted to help those in trouble but, also, of course, there is a great sense of camaraderie,' said Andy.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.