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Happisburgh RNLI lifeboat station needs YOU

Lifeboats News Release

Happisburgh RNLI volunteers are looking for more people to come and join the station as volunteers to be crew, shore crew, shop volunteers and many more roles.

Tom Hunn Crew

RNLI/Philip Smith

Tom Hunn Crew

Happisburgh RNLI is always looking for new volunteers to back up its current team.

To find out how to get involved, please email: [email protected], call 01692 583269 and leave message or, visit the station on Tuesday evening or Sunday morning and meet the volunteers.

Pete Walker who is one of the crew, who is now on his helm plan has just had an outstanding pass of his Search and Rescue Command unit of this training to become helm.

Tom Hunn has passed out as substantive crew, he said: ‘I joined the lifeboat so I could become a better dad, as in learn about leadership skills and show them it’s good to give something back.

'I also joined because I missed the military and the RNLI share similar traits. My training was very professional and I feel very capable now I have passed.

'The best thing I’ve got out of the lifeboat are the friends I’ve made.'

Paul Sloan and Derek Miller have passed out as shore crew. Derek said:

‘I hadn’t planned on joining the RNLI, but came to the open day last August, to have a look at the boats and was encouraged to take on the role of Boathouse manager.

'Within a few weeks, the friendly team suggested I undertake the training for shore crew.

'The training is an enjoyable mix of theory and practical skills and whilst being comprehensive, is not onerous and I successfully passed out after nine months.

'The training is ongoing through Sunday and Tuesday sessions and we go afloat on a regular basis.'

Derek continued: 'I was fortunate to be able to complete a casualty care course, which means I can more fully support the valuable work of the station.

'These roles are completely different to the work I did prior to retirement and moving to Happisburgh, when I was a Global IT Director for an investment bank in the City of London.

'We are one crew and we all muck in to ensure the lifeboats are launched and recovered as swiftly and safely as possible.

'I would recommend volunteering with the RNLI and being part of a friendly team.'

Paul said: ‘I originally lived in Northern Ireland and moved to London about 35 years ago. I have been coming to Eccles on Sea for 14 years. In 2019 I started to living here permanently, it was suggested that I might be interested in joining the shore crew. I joined the shore crew and have been doing my training for this which has been a fantastic experience and have now passed all my units. I have also passed the Casualty Care Course, which I now help in the training of the other crew members.

'We have an excellent team of people in the RNLI Happisburgh and it also has a good social side to it as well.

'I am now being trained up to do tractor driving and Head Launcher.

'I am thoroughly enjoying being a member of the RNLI Happisburgh and would definitely recommend it to anyone of any age to join our wonderful team.'

Two of our volunteers were nominated to be Community Champions representing the RNLI, at the Royal Norfolk Show. They were Tant Blackburn the station's Shop Manger and Cedric Cox the station's President.

The presentation and march around the main ring was on the 28 June at The Royal Norfolk Show with members of other charity / community originations and were addressed by the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk Lady Dennett.

Tany said: ‘It was an honor to represent the RNLI and Happisburgh and in my view this was a recognition of all the volunteers' work done at station by shop and crew.'

The station's community safety team attended both days of the Royal Norfolk Show giving out advice on water safety, so people can have fun safety near water, this year they are part of the Broads village and worked with Broads Rangers and RNLI Lifeguards. The stand was a Trade Stand Award 2023 by Norwich Union Challenge Cup, they said: 'The most effective and well laid out display by exhibitor engaged in the service industry’.

Sadly in 2020, Happisburgh RNLI lost Dave Cato who was a large part of the station to cancer. On 25 June, the station and family came together to scatter his ashes at sea off Happisburgh. Dave joined the crew in 2012 and was crew and part of the station community water safety team and ran the annul fete, until he stood down in 2019 due to his illness, he is sadly missed.

RNLI Media contacts

For more information please contact Happisburgh Lifeboat Station volunteer Press Officer, Philip Smith: Mobile: 07766007936, email: [email protected]

Derek Miller & Paul Sloan shorecrew

RNLI/Philip Smith

Derek Miller & Paul Sloan shorecrew
Tany Blackburn with her award

RNLI/Philip Smith

Tany Blackburn with her award
Russell Picking about to Launch to scatter Ash's

RNLI/Philip Smith

Russell Picking about to Launch to scatter Ash's
Crew talking with Dave Cato's family

RNLI/Philip Smith

Crew talking with Dave Cato's family

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.