New appointments at RNLI Cromer

Lifeboats News Release

In the week Cromer RNLI celebrates the life of its most famous son, Henry Blogg, a new Coxswain is following in his footsteps.

Coxswain/Mechanic RNLI Cromer

RNLI/Audrey Smith

Paul Watling

In all, RNLI Cromer has made three new appointments within its team of volunteer lifeboat and shore crew. Paul Watling has been appointed Coxswain/Mechanic from 15 June 2020. He has been a volunteer for the RNLI for 32 years, starting at Happisburgh as a crew member on the D class, progressing to Helm and mechanic.

Paul joined RNLI Cromer in May 2005 as the station’s mechanic on the Tyne class lifeboat, Ruby and Arthur Reed II. The station then had The Royal Shipwright which was a Mersey lifeboat. For a year it launched off the beach while the slipway was being reprofiled to take the Tamar lifeboat, Lester.

In 2017, he took up a new position with the RNLI as an assessor trainer (plant and machinery), covering an area from Cleethorpes in the north to Portsmouth in the south, assessing crews on a wide range of vehicles and all aspects of launch and recovery. This also included mechanics for all-weather lifeboats(ALBs).

Paul said: ‘I am really looking forward to the new challenge of leading a great crew both aboard and ashore. My aim is to create a family environment for the station. We often forget that behind any great crew member there is often a great partner who supports them in their volunteering role, so I would like to bring these family members into our lifeboat family.

‘Likewise we also must not forget the fantastic work of our shop staff and ladies guild and supporters, without whom we would not be able to operate. We are one team and that is what I would like to achieve at Cromer.'

In addition to Paul’s appointment, RNLI Cromer have two new additional Deputy Launch Authorities (DLAs). Steve Guest and Roger Sutton already serve as shore crew members, with Roger combining this with his role as Visits Coordinator. They will join the existing DLAs, John Redmond and Mike Wass.

Derek Hinds, RNLI Cromer Chairman commented: ‘On behalf of the Management Group of Cromer Lifeboat we are pleased to see Paul return to our station as coxswain/mechanic. Paul is held in high esteem by all at Cromer station for his dedication and commitment that he showed in his previous role as mechanic. We look forward to Paul taking the station forward whilst upholding the traditions of the RNLI at Cromer Lifeboat Station.

We are also pleased to welcome on board Steve and Roger to the operations team as DLAs, excellent appointments for our station.'

This week saw the 66th anniversary of Henry Blogg’s death. He was the most decorated lifeboatman in RNLI history, serving for 53 years on Cromer’s lifeboats. With the assistance of his crew, he saved 873 lives from the North Sea.

RNLI Media contacts

For more information please contact Audrey Smith, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on: 07773 097094.

Deputy Launch Authority RNLI Cromer

RNLI/Audrey Smith

Steve Guest
Deputy Launch Authority RNLI Cromer

RNLI/Audrey Smith

Roger Sutton

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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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