The High Sheriff of East Sussex has presented Newhaven lifesavers with the commemorative Platinum Jubilee medal. This award was created as a token of thanks and given in recognition of the 65,886 lives the RNLI has saved during Her Majesty’s 70-year reign.
In a special event hosted at the Newhaven lifeboat station, on Tuesday 2 August 2022, Jane King, High Sheriff of East Sussex (2022-2023), presented medals to seven of the thirteen recipients, who have been recognised for their commitment to saving lives at sea, each serving a minimum of five years.
Jane King says: ‘It is an honour to present these commemorative medals and recognise the essential work of these volunteers.’
Jane King thanked the volunteers for their dedication, collectively volunteering for over 154 years, attending regular training, being on call throughout the day and night and giving up their time when the emergency call comes in.
‘On behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, the community of Newhaven, visitors to our county, those who work on the water and all who enjoy the Sussex coast, we thank you.’
The High Sheriff acknowledged too, the support of family and friends - with whose commitment - volunteering to this level is made possible.
The Platinum Jubilee medal follows a long history of awarding medals to mark Royal Jubilee celebrations. This is the fourth medal under Her Majesty The Queen’s reign. Newhaven’s recipients are among 4,500 volunteers and frontline staff from across the RNLI to receive the medal.
Nick Gentry, Navigator Mechanic, who has served 39 years at Newhaven RNLI, says: ‘It is a great honour to receive such a significant award and be recognised as part of the many generations of lifesavers who have built the legacy of this charity.’
Lee Blacknell, Second Coxswain, who has served 19 years at Newhaven RNLI, says: ‘This commemorative medal is testimony to the hard work, grit and determination of our crews, who drop everything and venture out in all weathers to help save lives at sea’.
The High Sheriff was accompanied to Newhaven Lifeboat station by her Police Cadet Esther Foreman and Fire Cadet Amber Valentine. Following the presentation they were given a tour of Newhaven’s Severn class All-weather Lifeboat,
David and Elizabeth Acland, by Lewis Arnold (Coxswain Mechanic) and Nick Gentry (Navigator Mechanic).
Two further recognition with thanks were presented by the High Sheriff. A 40 years Long Service Award for Roger Cohen MBE, Lifeboat Operations Manager. An Excellence in Volunteering Award for Roz Ashton, Lifeboat Press Officer.
Roger Cohen MBE says: ‘The journey from trainee crew to Lifeboat Operations Manager - volunteering at Brighton, Tower and Newhaven, continues to bring me enormous satisfaction, fulfilling my part in the one crew who together save lives at sea.’
Newhaven RNLI volunteers to receive the Platinum Jubilee Medal are: Lewis Arnold (Coxswain Mechanic), Lee Blacknell (Second Coxswain), Roger Cohen MBE (Lifeboat Operations Manager), David Collins-Williams (Deputy Launch Authority), Mark Ford (Deputy Launch Authority), Nick Gentry (Navigator/Crew), Billy Hipperson (Crew), James Johnson (Navigator/Crew), Gary Marsh (Deputy Launch Authority), Francis Nicholls (Lifeboat Medical Advisor), Henry Prout (Crew), Alvaro Rodriguez (Crew) and Peter Todd (Mechanic/Crew).
Notes for the editor
- Newhaven RNLI’s majestic Severn class All-weather Lifeboat, David and Elizabeth Acland
, launches to a great variety of search and rescue service calls: into the Channel and along the coast between the station’s boundaries of Belle Tout Lighthouse in the east, to Saltdean in the west.
- RNLI - Royal National Lifeboat Institution
- About the High Sheriff:
RNLI media contacts
- The office of High Sheriff has its roots in Saxon times and is the oldest continuous secular office under the Crown. It was first written about at the time of King Canute – in the 1020’s.
- The word ‘Sheriff’ is derived from ‘Shire Reeve’ – the office of a Reeve being a chief magistrate, in this case responsible for law enforcement for the shire. Shire means county.
- Originally the office held many of the powers now vested in the Lord-Lieutenant, High Court Judges, Magistrates, Local Authorities, Coroners and the Inland Revenue.
- High Sheriffs represent The Sovereign in their counties in upholding all matters relating to the Judiciary and maintaining law and order, tasks in practice principally delegated to the Chief Constable of Police. Their responsibilities are conferred by the Crown through warrant from the Privy Council.
For more information please telephone Roz Ashton, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07900 887423 or [email protected]
or Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer on 07785 296252 [email protected]
or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.
RNLI Newhaven social media
For more information, please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the RNLI News Centre.
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.