Barmouth RNLI Volunteer joins the Royal Navy

Lifeboats News Release

Local Barmouth boy Martin East grew up by the seaside. His dad Michael, better known on Barmouth quay as ‘Copper’, was a lobster fisherman; so he got his sea legs early on in life.

RNLI/Norma Stockford

Martin East on a shout with the ALB Moira Barrie

Martin worked as a chef for 17 years and was very sought after by local hotels and restaurants and, at the suggestion of the Coxswain, he joined Barmouth RNLI in 2014. After attending courses at the RNLI Training College in Poole and with the hands-on training he received in Barmouth, he soon became an integral member of the crew, serving on both the all-weather and inshore lifeboats.

In September 2015, Martin played a vital part in the rescue of two people from a 22 foot sailing boat stuck on a sandbank on Fairbourne beach near the entrance to Barmouth Bar. He was featured on the BBC’s programme Saving Lives at Sea bravely leaping from the lifeboat to board the yacht which was being pounded by the waves in force 6 to 7 winds.

Martin’s heart was always with the sea, and after speaking with a crew member who had served in the forces, he applied to join the Royal Navy in 2016. He was accepted and joined HMS Raleigh, the RN shore-based training establishment stationed at Plymouth. Martin completed his phase one training on 11 January of this year and now begins his profession training as a hydrographer, using the latest methods and equipment involved in exploring and managing the seabed. He hopes to be assigned a ship in May 2019.

Martin said:

‘I can thoroughly recommend volunteering for the RNLI to the young people of Barmouth. The first-rate training I received in Poole and the practical training with the Barmouth crew provided a stepping stone for me and gave me the knowledge and confidence to apply join the royal Navy.

I will always be grateful to Coxswain Peter Davies and the Barmouth team and shall miss not being there to see them receive their new Shannon in March, but I look forward to them teaching me all about it when I am home on leave!’

RNLI/Norma Stockford

Martinn with fiance Jo Chick and son Miles

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.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.