Father and daughter duo at Sennen RNLI - ready to save lives this Christmas
RNLI volunteers at Sennen Cove, including Richard and his daughter Izzy, are always prepared to rush out the door at the sound of their pager - even during Christmas dinner.
Sennen Cove Lifeboat Station has a long tradition of family members joining the lifeboat crew and the family of Peter Puddiphatt is no exception. Peter has now retired, but his son, Richard, and his granddaughter, Izzy, are both crew members. For both of them it has been a very busy season, in spite of the restrictions of the pandemic.
Richard joined the shore crew at 14 years of age when the station had a Rother class lifeboat because he was inspired to follow in his father's footsteps. He was also excited by the sound of the maroons going off and heading down to the boathouse to help.
Izzy, 18, joined the crew this year and says she was inspired by the example of her dad and grandad, as they reacted to the pagers and quickly disappeared down to the boathouse. Her dad even borrowed her scooter once to get there quickly!
Stepping foot on the ALB at the age of 13 whetted her appetite even further. The tradition in the village for people to volunteer for rescue groups made her determined to join as soon as she could, and she joined this year at the age of 17.
Izzy feels there is so much to learn. Every single shout brings a new experience and a new set of circumstances. She loves the buzz of turning up for a shout, not knowing what is going to happen next.
For Richard the pleasure of volunteering lies in the camaraderie but also in the look of relief on the faces of the people they rescue. Richard finds it rather strange going on shouts with his daughter. He says:
‘Everyone is busy doing tasks, I tend to forget until someone calls her name.’
When asked about what it’s like being on a shout with her dad, Izzy laughed and said:
‘I have been on a few shouts with my Dad, but I sometimes beat him to getting on the crew; while he is parking the car, I get in the boathouse and on the boat. By the time dad arrives we have a full complement and don't need him. I help myself to the chocolate stash in his pocket too!’
The most recent shout that they were both on was a long and difficult one in November. They were paged at 6.30pm to head way up the coast near St Agnes to help with a multiple lifeboat search for a someone in the water. They didn't get home until 4.00am. Richard remembers it well because they were searching an area of the coast that was new to them.
Izzy enjoys shouts where multiple agencies are involved. For her, whatever the outcome, she feels that the fact that they have done everything possible alleviates the stress and sometimes the sadness of someone lost.
They are hoping to be together as a family this Christmas, but this is not always possible because Richard works away on the Norway rigs and getting home is dependent on so many things. If the chance arises, they are both looking forward to a Christmas swim on Sennen beach.
This year, RNLI volunteers continued to work tirelessly throughout the pandemic to keep people safe as lockdown restrictions eased and people flocked to the coast. As a result of the pandemic, the RNLI lost millions in income due to cancelled fundraising activities, and also had to spend £1.2M to ensure its lifesavers had the PPE to keep themselves and the public safe.
As a charity, the RNLI relies on the generous support of the public to continue saving lives through the efforts of volunteers like Richard and Izzy – and that support is now more vital than ever. Help us to brave a wave we never expected. To make a donation to the RNLI's Christmas Appeal visit: RNLI.org/Xmas.
Notes to editors
· Please find attached various photos of Richard and Izzy, plus Peter Puddiphatt please credit to Sennen Cove RNLI
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Amy Caldwell, Regional Media Manager on 07920818807 or Brian Simpson, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 01736 871631, or 07762 057127 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tim Stevens, Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer on 07971518403 or email@example.com or or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.
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.