Meet Brighton’s lifeboat volunteers who are spending their first Christmas with the station
It takes all sorts of roles to ensure the smooth day to day running of a lifeboat station and to support the volunteer crew members.
This year Brighton’s lifeboat station, based at the Marina, has welcomed three new volunteers - launch authority Christopher Townley and two press officers Lottie Ikonen and Hatti Mellor.
Law professor Chris, 50, who lives in Brighton close to the Marina said: “Volunteering is always something I have been passionate about and having lived in Brighton for four years now I was keen to do something positive locally.
“I enjoy sea swimming and know about the work of the RNLI so when I saw the role advertised I applied straight away.
“I started in March and have learnt so much, I’ve gained a much greater understanding of the tides and weather, as well as the capabilities of the boat and how to assess when it is safe to launch.
“I’ve also met a really nice group of friendly, interesting, dedicated people from a wide variety of backgrounds.
“It’s a positive and encouraging atmosphere, I’d really encourage anyone thinking about volunteering in the new year to keep an eye on the website and to go for it.”
Chris is part of a team of three launch authorities taking part in an on call rota to ensure, along with the coastguard and helm, that the lifeboat is launched safely and appropriately.
Charity press officer Hatti, 33, from Hove said: “I was absolutely thrilled to have been offered the opportunity to volunteer with my local lifeboat station this summer.
“I’ve been lucky enough to live on the seafront for ten years and have always been aware of the work of the RNLI.
“Through my day job working in a press office I knew I had the skills to help spread important safety messaging.
“To play a small part in supporting the crew and getting the RNLI’s lifesaving messaging out there continues to be a real privilege.
“Reporting on the young teenager rescued whilst clinging to the pier in August really brought home the vital work the crew are doing - this was later recognised as a ‘life saved’ by the RNLI.
“I feel like I’ve learnt so much already and have made new friends along the way too, I know the incredible work of the RNLI will continue into next year and beyond.”
Head of digital content, Lottie, 31, from Hove, said: “Growing up living by the sea, I’ve always been in awe of the work the RNLI do.
“I witnessed first-hand multiple rescues and was amazed when I found out the lifeboat crew was made up entirely of volunteers. To think that they are ready to leave whatever they are doing at any time of the day to help save lives is amazing.
“To play a small part in the work that the organisation does is incredible and being able to promote the live saving work that goes on and fundraising efforts feels very special.
“It’s a great charity to be a part of and we’ve already received a lot of help and support so far, including in-depth training to help us in our roles. I’m really looking forward to being able to help promote the RNLI in the years to come.”
Brighton’s Atlantic class 85 lifeboat Random Harvest has been launched 34 times this year.
This winter the RNLI is launching its Christmas appeal as the charity asks for help to continue its lifesaving work at sea.
With thousands of volunteers around the UK and Ireland, each RNLI crew member signs up to save every one from drowning –it has been the charity’s mission since 1824.
Over the past decade, RNLI lifeboats have launched over 1,200 times during the festive period.
But these rescues would not be possible without donations from the RNLI’s generous supporters, helping to fund the essential kit, training and equipment needed by lifeboat crews all year round.
Christopher added: “Even at Christmas, our lifesavers are ready to drop everything at a moment’s notice and rush to the aid of someone in trouble on the water. At this time of year, the weathers at its worst and lives are on the line.
“We hope that this year’s Christmas appeal will show people just how tough it can be, but also that with their help we can get so much closer to our goal of saving every one.’To make a donation to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal visit: RNLI.org/XmasRNLI
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.
Learn more about the RNLI
Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries