Sennen Cove's RNLI Coxswain retires after 35 years of service
April 2018 marks the end of an era at Sennen Cove RNLI Lifeboat Station. Our long-serving coxswain Terry George is retiring this month.
Terry is proud of his Penberth heritage and as a true Cover he has followed the local pursuits, not least his love of fishing. He has also always had a passionate interest in technological progress, a skill that would stand him in good stead in the years to come. In 1971 he was licensed as a radio operator, broadcasting at first from Penberth.
In 1982 Terry moved from Penberth to Trevescan in Sennen, and in 1983 he joined the crew of the Sennen Cove lifeboat. Six years later, in 1989, he was appointed coxswain/mechanic, taking over the mantle from Maurice Hutchens. During his 35 years of dedicated service Terry has crewed and skippered four RNLI lifeboats - the Rother class Diana White, the Mersey class The Four Boys, the Tyne class Norman Salvesen, and latterly the state-of-the-art Tamar class City of London III. In addition, he has been responsible for several D class inshore lifeboats.
Terry's skill, courage, and knowledge of the local waters, as well as his leadership of the volunteer crew have been attested by many notable rescues over the years, and both he and the crew have received Letters of Commendation on several occasions. In December 1994, along with the coxswain of the Penlee lifeboat, Neil Brockman, Terry was awarded the RNLI Bronze Medal. This was in recognition of their service to the Newlyn crabber Julian Paul. The vessel had suffered a fouled propeller and was at the mercy of turbulent seas. They rescued 5 people and saved the vessel, towing it safely to Newlyn in rough seas and storm force winds gusting to 80 knots. The Medal was awarded to the two coxswains in recognition of their fine seamanship, leadership, and meritorious conduct.
Along with his skill and dedication as a lifeboatman, Terry has long been recognised as a great ambassador for the work of the RNLI. Many will attest to his skill as an inspirational and entertaining speaker. In this role he has long been in demand in the local community and the wider RNLI community. Over the years, he has produced a number of highly popular videos about the history of the Sennen Cove Lifeboat Station, the local area, and his other passion, bird watching. All this is a tribute to his skill as a photographer.
Terry is to be celebrated as a man of many parts, but in particular we salute his leadership of the charity's volunteer Sennen Cove crew. He has been a sound example and mentor of many young recruits to the lifeboat service. It is of no small significance, that his two sons are members of the crew. He will be greatly missed and long remembered. Thank you Terry. Enjoy your retirement to pursue your many interests.
It has just been announced that after an extensive selection procedure for a new coxswain, Terry's younger son Ollie has emerged as the successful candidate. He will now engage in an intensive six-week induction course at RNLI HQ at Poole, before he takes over the mantle so ably borne by his father.
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, in a normal year, 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.