Mark Ford has been appointed to RNLI Newhaven’s operations team, in the role of volunteer Deputy Launching Authority (DLA). His appointment bolsters the existing Newhaven launch team, which includes Lifeboat Operations Manager, Roger Cohen and DLA’s Gary Marsh and Jane Masey.
The RNLI’s Launching Authority play a vital role in the steps between HM Coastguard receiving a call for help from a casualty and a lifeboat’s subsequent launch to the rescue. As we prepare for a busy summer ahead, a strong shore team, as well as crew, is critical for our ability to respond.
Local Denton boy, Mark Ford, joined Newhaven Lifeboat in 1994, in his late twenties. He served for five years on the crew aboard the then Arun class lifeboat
Keith Anderson. In 1999, he gave up his position on the crew in order to pursue a career in the police.
Mark Ford, RNLI Deputy Launching Authority for Newhaven Lifeboat, says of joining the crew, ‘It was somewhat of a childhood dream. My father used to drive me to watch the boat launch whenever the maroons* went up.’
Now Detective Sergeant, Mark Ford is nearing retirement from his career in the police. Whilst he has always remained local, it is only now that life will afford him the flexibility, once again, to be an active member of Newhaven Lifeboat.
Mark Ford says, ‘I have always held the RNLI close to my heart. Looking back on my crew days, it was the popping into the station and being part of the lifeboat family that it was really about.’
Mark Ford will follow the RNLI’s competency training for the Launching Authority role as well as shadowing his Deputy Launching Authority colleagues at Newhaven Lifeboat before taking on active duty.
The station has seen a great deal of change since Mark’s years as active crew. Not least, the new shore facility, completed in 2004. Newhaven is now a modern afloat station. It operates an all-weather Severn class lifeboat, the
David and Elizabeth Acland.
Mark Ford says, ‘I’m looking forward to dedicating time to my new role and hoping to bring my emergency services experience to the RNLI.’
Roger Cohen, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, says, ‘We are very happy to welcome Mark back to Newhaven. He brings valuable local knowledge and a passion for the work of the RNLI to save lives at sea. He will be an asset to the team.’
Notes to editors
• The role of a Deputy Launching Authority (DLA) is to authorise the launch of the lifeboat, provide leadership in the absence of the Lifeboat Operations Manager or as delegated, and to ensure that all operational activities are carried out to maintain the lifeboats and all associated equipment in a constant state of readiness for launching on service.
• A maroon is a type of rocket which makes a loud banging report (noise) creates a bright flash. It is used as an alarm or warning. The RNLI used these rockets in the past to call the crew when the lifeboat needed to be launched.
RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Roz Ashton, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07900 887423 or Rosalind_Ashton@rnli.org.uk or Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer on 07785 296252 Paul_Dunt@rnli.org.uk or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.
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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.
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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.