Twenty years service award for local RNLI supporter John Homer
After spending twenty years giving words of advise on sea safety, John was finally lost for words when he received his long service award from the RNLI.
About twenty five years ago he joined the Bexleyheath branch of the RNLI as part of the volunteer fundraising team. Having moved to Medway, where he berths his own yacht, a Countess 37 Ketch, he became involved with Sheerness Lifeboat Station providing Sea Checks, a free service provided by the RNLI, checking on the seaworthiness of yachts, advising on engine maintenance, sea safety and providing life jacket services.
Asked whether he ever had to call the RNLI whilst sailing he said, “ I bought my yacht after having a full survey done on her, and the weekend after was heading from Medway to St Katherine’s Docks in London when my alternator seized on the boat by the Thames Barrier, leaving me with no power. As required I radioed up, explaining the situation and a nearby friend was able to provide a tow for me. Shortly after Tower RNLI station radioed up asking if I was in need of any assistance, followed shortly after by Gravesend Lifeboat station. Both offers were politely declined explaining that I was under tow and quite safe.
That night the Coxswain of Sheerness phoned me up asking what was the trouble with the alternator, word had reached my station! I was very glad that I didn’t have to get any of the crew to come out to rescue me, I would never have lived it down!”
John moved to Broadstairs seven years ago and is now part of the volunteer Thanet RNLI Community Team, spending his weekends patrolling our beaches, giving advise to residents and visitors alike. He’s always amazed how people from as close as London have no idea at all about the tides, and are completely unaware that they can be cut off by the water and place themselves in danger.
The RNLI rely solely on volunteers like John and donations from the public without which we could not continue our work Saving Lives at Sea.
Karen Cox Lifeboat Press Officer Tel. 07779848431 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Dunt RNLI Regional Media Officer for London and South East
Tel. 07785296252 Email. email@example.com
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.