New Coxswain takes the helm at Hoylake RNLI lifeboat station

Lifeboats News Release

Hoylake RNLI lifeboat station has a new Coxswain at the helm as Howard ‘Howie’ Owen takes over the lifesaving role from Andy Dodd.

Hoylake RNLI

Howie Owen (right) takes over as Hoylake RNLI Coxswain from Andy Dodd (left)

Howie was appointed to the full-time position of Coxswain Mechanic at Hoylake after volunteering with the RNLI for almost 30 years. Andy handed over the role to Howie on Sunday 27 June as he completed his final training exercise in command of Hoylake’s all-weather Shannon class lifeboat Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood.

Andy Dodd is stepping down to begin a new role with the RNLI as an Area Lifesaving Manager, providing support to five lifeboat stations in Cardigan Bay. His service with the RNLI began as a Hoylake Lifeboat volunteer crew member in 1994. He held numerous roles at the lifeboat station, before being appointed full-time Second Coxswain Mechanic in 2009 and the station’s first full-time Coxswain Mechanic in 2016. Andy’s father, David Dodd MBE, was also Coxswain from 1997 to 1998, as was his great-grandfather Thomas Dodd (1894 to 1916) and great uncle Arthur Dodd (1916 to 1919).

Howie becomes Hoylake RNLI’s new Coxswain Mechanic after a long career in the maritime sector. He worked as a Boating Officer with the British Antarctic Survey at Rothera Research Station in Antarctica and King Edward Point Research Station in South Georgia.

Howie also worked on private superyachts before joining the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, which provides logistical and operational support to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. More recently, he worked on pilot boats operating out of the River Mersey.

Howie began volunteering with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution at West Kirby RNLI lifeboat station in the early 1990s. He served for over 20 years on West Kirby RNLI’s inshore lifeboat, before joining the all-weather lifeboat crew at Hoylake. He became a Deputy Second Coxswain in 2014 and an Inshore Rescue Hovercraft commander in 2018.

On becoming Coxswain, Howie Owen said: ‘It’s an honour to take on this role and I’m looking forward to keeping up the high standards and lifesaving traditions of Hoylake RNLI. We have a fantastic team of volunteers at Hoylake, not just on our lifeboat, hovercraft, shore and tractor crews, but also on our management, fundraising, media and shop teams. We couldn’t keep our charity’s lifesaving service running without each volunteer, their families, and our wider station community.’

‘I’m excited to take on this new challenge and would like to thank Andy for his leadership and commitment over the years, particularly through the difficult period of the pandemic. On behalf of everyone at Hoylake Lifeboat Station, I wish him all the very best in his new role with the RNLI.’

On stepping down as Coxswain, Andy Dodd said: ‘It’s been an honour to serve as an RNLI Coxswain and a privilege to work with such a fantastic team. Thank you to everyone who has supported me and the station over the years. I wish Howie and the team a safe and successful future.’

Notes to editors

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is the charity that saves lives at sea.

Founded in 1803, Hoylake Lifeboat Station is one of the oldest RNLI lifeboat stations in the UK.

The all-weather Shannon class lifeboat Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood has been on service at Hoylake since 2014. The lifeboat covers the approaches to Liverpool, the Dee Estuary and the Irish Sea and launches at all states of weather and tide to people and vessels in distress.

The Inshore Rescue Hovercraft Hurley Spirit has also been stationed at Hoylake since 2016 and can reach areas inaccessible to conventional lifeboats, including the mud flats of the Dee Estuary, the Wirral coast and the River Mersey.

For more information about Andy Dodd’s service with the RNLI, please see Hoylake RNLI’s media release of 16 April 2021 linked here.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact:

Dan Whiteley, Hoylake RNLI Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer on 07799 851 316 or email

Eleri Roberts, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07771 941 390 or email

RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789

RNLI/Nigel Millard

Howie Owen becomes Coxswain after a long career in the maritime sector and many years volunteering with the RNLI

Hoylake RNLI

Andy Dodd (left) has taken up a new role in the RNLI as an Area Lifesaving Manager

Hoylake RNLI

Howie Owen (right) will lead Hoylake RNLI's volunteer lifeboat and hovercraft crews in saving lives at sea

RNLI/Nigel Millard

Andy Dodd is the fourth generation in his family to have served as Hoylake RNLI Coxswain

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.