A Hat Trick of helms at RNLI Rye Harbour in 2019

Lifeboats News Release

Today Matt Ellis passed out as helm at Rye Harbour. He is the third crew-member to achieve this level since April this year, strengthening the Harbour team. Congratulations from all the crew who have worked alongside Matt : it is not a solo enterprise.


Matt as helm of the Atlantic 85

Matt Ellis, from Rye, East Sussex, was inspired to join up as a volunteer because he had always been involved in water activities and is a keen sailor. He realised the important role that the RNLI played in saving lives at sea and teaching the public to respect the water and wanted to give back to this dedicated charity by getting involved. He had spent twelve years in the Army before retiring as a Captain in 2012 and was used to working in a team that shared the same goals: a good background for the RNLI.

Stuart Clark, a new recruit last November and now fully qualified crew-member commented, ‘Matt has been an inspiration to all the crew, especially the trainees, from day one. His dedication and commitment to learning and training are an example to us all. The confidence, clarity and cool head that he brings to even the most tense situations means that we are in safe hands with our newest helm.’

Matt summed up the day:’ The modular programme delivered by the RNLI ensures that I’ve been trained and gained practice in every type of situation and event that I and my crew might face. The pass-out today is the final assessment of these modules and I felt as though I was fully prepared. I look forward to supporting RNLI Rye Harbour and my community as helm on the Atlantic 85. We couldn’t do what we do without the continued support of the community and the general public.’


Congratulations to Matt Ellis on becoming helm

Paul Bolton

Allen Head congratulates Matt Ellis after a successful assessmenrt

Stuart Clark

Matt setting out for his assessment

Stuart Clark

Matt's assessment begins at the Harbour

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 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.

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