Lizard Lifeboat Coxswain retires after 35 years’ service to the RNLI
Coxswain of The Lizard RNLI Lifeboat, Andrew Putt retires from his role at the station after serving 35 years for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
After 35 years continuous service with the RNLI Andrew Putt steps down from his role as Coxswain of The Lizard Lifeboat at the end of May. Andrew, who has been Coxswain at The Lizard since 2010 has had an illustrious career with the RNLI which began back in 1985 when he became a volunteer crew member in his home town of Salcombe. Andrew then went on to spend 24 years at Ilfracombe Lifeboat station when he was appointed as full time Mechanic in 1986, taking over as full time Cowsain/Mechanic from 1992 until his departure from Ilfracome to The Lizard in 2010.
Andrew felt a new challenge was needed and he along with his wife Bernice and daughter Jess all relocated to The Lizard when he was successfully appointed as coxswain of The Lizard RNLI Lifeboat, replacing former Coxswain Phil Burgess who himself was retiring after 34 years at the helm of The Lizard Lifeboat.
A village steeped in lifeboat history and heritage, in 2010 The Lizard not only welcomed Andrew and his family but also a brand new purpose built lifeboat station at Kilcobben Cove and the new Tamar class lifeboat, RNLB Rose.
Andrew said 'My move here to The Lizard in September 2010 coincided with the station just beginning to rise out of a concrete slab and I was able to watch its construction to become the magnificent building that we now have. And finally, the delivery of RNLB Rose to The Lizard in July 2011; a very proud moment for us all and one which will always be very special to me'
Chairman of The Lizard Lifeboat, Dr Chris Cuff said 'Andrew, with the support of his team, has expertly guided the station through the building of our magnificent new station and the commissioning of our new Tamar Class Lifeboat RNLB Rose In his time at the helm he has supported new volunteers, planned and delivered fantastic training and always ensured Rose is ready to “ Save Lives at Sea “. As a Station we thank Andrew and are immensely grateful for his enthusiasm, commitment and professionalism. We also wish to welcome our new Coxswain, Dan Atkinson, currently our station Mechanic and Deputy Coxswain, who will take over from Andrew. We wish him well in his new role and look forward to our station continuing to Save Lives at Sea and being an integral part of our Community.'
As well as being full time Coxswain and Lifeboat Training Coordinator at The Lizard station, Andrew also found time to engage in a number of external activities including: Channel Rep, he was a founding member of the Full Time Lifeboat Crew Consultation Group and was more recently seconded to the Regional Improvement Manager (South West) role for one year, providing much needed maritime guidance support on the coast and valuable assistance to new volunteers, particularly essential to those with a non maritime background. Andrew has also been involved in a number of external developments and trials throughout his career, most notably the first FRC (fibre -reinforced compsite) Mersey lifeboat and was responsible for running the comparison trials with other lifeboat classes on the east coast. He was also heavily involved in the early Shannon lifeboat development trials prior to his appointment at The Lizard.
Lizard Lifeboat Operations Manager, Ned Nuzum added. 'Besides the RNLI losing one of its best, we'll all miss his presence immensely at the station and the community at large, we all salute his immense contribution to life boating at The Lizard and we wish him every happiness and greater things to come following his well-earned retirement from the RNLI, after 35 years exemplary service'.
Andrew goes on to say 'It has been an honour and a privilege to have been the Coxswain of The Lizard Lifeboat for nearly 10 years, I thank all station personnel for your support, patience and understanding and wish Dan every success for the future.'
Andrew’s last day at The Lizard is on Friday 22nd May and everyone at the station wishes him a very happy and well deserved retirement.
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.