Celebrating over thirty years of dedicated voluntary service at Silloth RNLI
Silloth RNLI lifeboat station celebrated on Friday 16 November 2018, one of their most loved and respected volunteers’ service, which surpasses thirty years.
Senior Helmsman Steven Henderson was presented with his medal, on this special occasion by the Mayor of Allerdale, John Crouch.
Steve was accepted into the RNLI at Silloth less than a month after his seventeenth birthday and apart from a short break in the 1990’s has been with the RNLI ever since.
Steve has been called out on emergencies countless times and has received many accolades, letters of thanks and awards from the RNLI for the rescues in which he has been involved.
In 2004 Andrew Ashton, the Divisional Inspector of Lifeboats for the RNLI’s North Division, chose Steve to represent the North of England as one of six men selected from around Britain to act as a Guard of Honour for Her Majesty the Queen, when she opened the Lifeboat College at Poole in Dorset.
With experience to call-outs in all weathers, Steve has guided the Silloth RNLI inshore lifeboat to its limits in gale force seas; he has instilled confidence in the crew and safely negotiated the boat through the constantly changing and treacherous Solway Firth, while rescuing people from a huge variety of situations.
Although remaining as the Senior Helm for the RNLI lifeboat, Steve has now also taken on the role of Station Training Assessor - passing on his knowledge and a lifetime of seamanship skills at Silloth, for the young and upcoming crew.
Recently staring in Saving Lives at Sea on BBC 2, when Steve and the crew rescued a member of the public trapped on the roof of her car, when surrounded by sea; the video of which has achieved worldwide coverage. When asked by the television team, what was the most scary thing he has done, he replied ‘being interviewed by you’.
Over fifty people were at the celebration for Steve’s incredible achievement, where the Lifeboat Operations Manager, Eddie Studholme spoke warmly and emotionally of his friend and colleague, before the Mayor made the presentation to Steve. Also there with Steve, was his wife Jen and daughter Erin and son Saul, who have obviously been a huge support to him over the years of his voluntary service in the RNLI.
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.