Hartlepool RNLI volunteer retires after 30 years of saving lives at sea
A Hartlepool RNLI volunteer is hanging up his waterproofs for the last time as he retires from the charity that saves lives at sea
As a youngster Fred has early memories of the Seaham lifeboat disaster and listening to his dad talk about the time his ship was torpedoed in the Atlantic and how he saved the life of a crewmate who couldn't swim so in a roundabout way that's how the interest in the RNLI began and then one day many years later Fred had seen the local RNLI volunteers out on a training exercise off Hartlepool and thought "I would like to have a go at that" and volunteered.
When asked what he will miss when he leaves the RNLI Fred said "First of all the crew.
I know it's been said before but we really are one big family. The camaraderie is fantastic and especially when at sea when we have to look after each other when things get a bit tricky but I will keep in touch via Whatsap and the internet just to make sure everyone's okay. I won't miss the cold weather that's for sure".
Nothing can match it".
Station mechanic and second coxswain Garry Waugh said 'Fred's a larger than life character and has been a pleasure to go to sea with over the years. He has a great sense of humour and a caring attitude with all the volunteers here and is highly respected so it's really sad to see him retire he will be missed and our tuck shop takings will be down as Fred had a great appetite for crisps chocolate and basically anything edible."
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
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