Harwich RNLI’s newest lifesaver follows in father’s footsteps

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI volunteer Michael Bull, launched on service for the first time on Wednesday 25 August to assist a stricken motorboat, and in doing so, followed in his father’s footsteps helping those in need at sea.

RNLI Harwich

Michael Bull

At 1pm on Wednesday the volunteers of Harwich RNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat Albert Brown, at the request of UK Coastguard, to a nine metre motorboat one mile off Felixstowe.

Once on scene the lifeboat crew were able to assess the situation, and decided that the safest course of action was to tow the casualty to nearby Shotley Marina, where they were met by the volunteers of the Holbrook Coastguard Rescue Team. Harwich RNLI’s lifeboat and crew were back on station at 3.46pm.

Michael was one of seven new recruits that joined in April, with this being his first service afloat, even though he has attended many as shore crew, launching and recovering the lifeboats while also completing months of competency based training and assessments.

After completing his first service Michael commented: ‘I joined Harwich RNLI wanting to do something for the local community. I have spent several months studying on my own and being coached by experienced crew, and finally received my certificate which enabled me to go afloat last week, so when I was told to get my waterproofs and lifejacket on, I was excited, nervous and scared all at the same time, but the adrenaline kicks in and you just get on with doing what you have been taught.'

Michael’s father Peter Bull who took over as Harwich RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) in May having previously been on the crew for nearly 20 years, had this to say:

‘I am immensely proud of Michael, not only as a father, but also as the station’s LOM. The dedication and commitment shown by all the new recruits responding to the pager at all hours and learning new skills has been amazing to witness, as well as seeing the support given by the experienced volunteers in the training of the new recruits. A real team effort which is starting to bear fruit.’

Peter added: ‘Michael joins four other crew members with family ties to the station, who have either been encouraged by or encouraged family members to join the family here at Harwich RNLI, not only on the lifeboats, but in fundraising and education roles too. I feel this puts us in a great position to continue saving lives at sea, not only on the water but even before someone reaches the water’s edge.

‘If you would like to volunteer at Harwich RNLI, and do something worthwhile and rewarding for the community, which doesn’t have to involve getting your feet wet, please contact me at peter_bull2@rnli.org.uk’.

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact:

Richard Wigley, RNLI Harwich volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07903424698 or richard_wigley@rnli.org.uk,

Clare Hopps, Regional Media Officer on 07824518641 or clare_hopps@rnli.org.uk 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 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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

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