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Passing out with flying colours at RNLI Rye Harbour

Lifeboats News Release

Assessment days at RNLI Rye Harbour are looked forward to and yet there is always a little apprehension because the crew are dedicated to working hard and training hard and want to achieve.


Tia Bolton being congratulated by Dave Needham

On Friday February 17 Dave Needham, RNLI Trainer and Assessor, was at the station for the day and in the evening was proud to announce that Tia Bolton had passed out as fully-qualified boat crew. She is the youngest female to have passed out with this qualification, aged just 20, at Rye Harbour. The other crew members who passed assessments were Stuart Clark, Neil Jolly , Emma Stonham and Lucy Hill. These were well-deserved as all have worked so hard to achieve so much at a very high standard.

Tia started her career in the RNLI at midnight on her seventeenth birthday in 2019. Her first task was to complete her shore crew plan and this she achieved by March 2020. Then, of course, Covid struck but this did not deter Tia. With her mentor’s help she worked with Jamie Guinn on Zoom and on-line and got ready to pass the modules when assessments were allowed to start up again.

What motivated you to get involved in the RNLI?
“I have grown up around lifeboats as my family have for generations been involved in the Harbour. It’s in our DNA.”

What was your first shout?
“This was to a wind-surfer off Pett Level who got into difficulty. It is good to be part of the team that goes to save lives at sea. The adrenalin rush is quite something.”

Is there one special highlight that stands out so far?
“When I did my emergency procedures module at Rye Harbour. I had struggled with it at Poole but when Dave Needham came down to assess me, he gave me so much confidence. I was so happy that I had done it and passed. I felt as if I had jumped a great hurdle.”

How would you sum it all up?
“It is a team effort where everyone builds your confidence. I had so many people encouraging me but a special thank you to Jamie and Stuart who always believed I could do it, even if at times I thought I couldn’t. My family and friends have been terrific and I couldn’t have done it without everyone’s support.”

I am going to concentrate on enjoying being qualified before I even think of my next goals and progression. I want to feel confident in all weathers and scenarios as I take my part as fully-qualified boat crew with a strong team around me.”

Dave Needham said, " It always is a pleasure to carry out assessments at RNLI Rye Harbour because of the crew's enthusiasm and dedication to achieve. It was a great day for all the crew that gained passes and especially for Tia who has worked so hard and is now a fully qualified crew member."


Tia at RNLI Rye Harbour with crew members

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.

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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.