Happisbugh Lifeboat Awards and Dinner Dance

Lifeboats News Release

Happisburgh Lifeboat Station looked back at 2019 with the Awards and Dinner Dance held at Woodland Holiday Park, Trimingham on Saturday 29 Febuary 2020 .

Sean Thurston receiving his award from Sally Houseage Lifesaving area manager

RNLI/Philip Smith

Sean Thurston receiving the Kelvin Baker Achievement award

Around a hundred volunteers and supporters attended the dinner dance. After the meal the main purpose of the evening was to look back at 2019 before the band ‘Uptown Nights ’ took to the stage. The evening raised £927.00, through the Raffle and Auction. The RNLI depends on such donations to carry on with its role of saving lives.

A number of the charity's volunteers have been affected by cancer, directly or indirectly, so the station was inspired to raise funds for this Norfolk cancer charity, The Big C, earlier this year. £75.00 raised from the Dinner Dance went to this charity, which added to the previous event, made the total £740.00.

Philip Smith, Chair of the Lifeboat Management Group, gave a roundup of 2019:

'Happisburgh RNLI lifeboat station volunteers were called into action 15 times in 2019. The station’s Atlantic Howard Bell six times, and the D-Class Russell Pickering nine times.

'The Community Safety Team has been doing throw bag training for bars and restaurants that are situated near water in Norwich and around the Broads. This is part of the RNLI Respect the Water campaign to reduce the number of deaths from drowning.

'The callouts included everything from engine problems, inflatables, medical evacuation, missing people and not forgetting the 60 green and yellow balloons!'

Philip also thanked all the volunteers for their hard work with training couses and giving up their time to provide a world class rescue service.

The RNLI is a charity and 2019 Lifeboat Day and Fete raised over £7,000.

The Kelvin Baker Achievement Award is in memory of Kelvin Baker who was a leading member of the lifeboat, well respected for his professionalism and boat handing skills as a helmsman. He was taken from us on 17 March 2008, 12 years ago.

'Kelly you are not forgotten and the Kelvin Baker achievement award lives on in your memory promoting the commitment and professionalism we like to think he would have approved of.'

The Station decided that this year’s Kelvin Baker Achievement award should go to Sean Thurston.

Sean Thurston is a crew member and in 2019 passed out as Helm of both the D class and the Atlantic 85. He has also been a valuable asset to the station helping with training new crew members and supporting the Station as a whole.

The Service Award for Memorable Service was not awarded for 2019 as no service warranted this award.

Mike Forsdick has stood down from the Station and to mark this he was given a letter of thanks from the RNLI for all his service to the station and a framed signed crew photo.

Tony Phoenix, who stood down as Helm in 2018, was also presented with a letter of thanks from the RNLI for all his service to the station. This took place this year as he was unable to attend last year’s event.

Everyone enjoyed the night. Special thanks to the band ‘Uptown Nights’ and also the staff of Woodland Holiday Park who helped make the evening a success.

RNLI Media contacts

For more information, please contact Happisburgh Lifeboat Station Volunteer Press Officer Philip Smith on: mobile 07766007936 or, email: lofty273@googlemail.com

Mike Forsdick with his framed Crew Photo

RNLI/Philip Smith

Mike Forsdick with his framed Crew Photo
Tony Phoenic receive letter of thanks from Philip Smith Chairman

RNLI/Philip Smith

Tony Phoenix receives his letter of thanks

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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