Harwich RNLI full-time coxswain stands down after five years

Lifeboats News Release

Neal Sandquest, full-time Coxswain of Harwich RNLI is standing down after five years leading the team of volunteer lifesavers. He will return in the new year as a fellow volunteer.


Stormy Stan with Neal Sandquest

On Wednesday 14 July Harwich RNLI’s full-time Coxswain Neal Sandquest stood down after five years, to take on a new challenge across the water at the Port of Felixstowe.

Over the past five years under Neal’s guidance, the station has been in good hands owing to his cool head, energy and determination. The entire station wishes him well across the water, and are glad to know he will be re-joining them in the new year as a volunteer Deputy 2nd Coxswain.

Having started out as a deck boy working on vessels in the North Sea at 17, Neal has travelled as far south as the Falkland Islands, and reached the position of Navigating Officer for Trinity House Lighthouse Service, when in 2016, after volunteering since 2013, he jumped ship to take up the role of Harwich RNLI full-time Coxswain, when Paul Smith stood down after 13 years.

RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager Graeme Richardson, said: ‘It has been a pleasure to work with Neal during his five years as full-time Coxswain, during which he has led the station through a significant time of change. His leadership and integrity both ashore, and at sea, have been pivotal to the development of the team. He will be sorely missed in the role, but I am glad he will be returning in the new year as a volunteer.’

Harwich RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, Peter BulI, said: ‘I would like to thank Neal for his 5 years’ service as Harwich RNLI full-time Coxswain, as he leaves for a new job at the Port of Felixstowe, and wish him good luck in his new role. And look forward to his return as a volunteer in the new year, and working alongside him at the Port of Felixstowe.

‘Even though I have only returned to the station as a volunteer in the last 20 months, firstly as Deputy Launch Authority, and now Lifeboat Operations Manager, Neal has been a pleasure to work alongside, and the knowledge and information that he has passed on to me and other new station members will I’m sure be put to good use.

‘He will be sorely missed both by myself and the rest of the station, but we also look forward to the future with the next appointment of a full-time Coxswain, and celebrating 25 years since the first of the operational Severn class lifeboats - Albert Brown - was stationed at Harwich.

Notes to Editor

Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) – looks after the day to day running of station

Deputy Launch Authority (DLA) – Assists LOM as well as authorising lifeboat launches

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.


Neal Sandquest, Harwich RNLI Coxswain (2016-2021)

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

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.