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Newhaven RNLI crew commended for saving the lives of two paragliders

Lifeboats News Release

Two members of the Newhaven RNLI lifeboat crew have been awarded with commendations for the part they played in saving the lives of two paragliders who had been cut off by the tide.

Lewis Arnold, Chris Glasspool, Jane King and Roger Cohen MBE stand together

RNLI/Sam Carragher

Lewis Arnold, Chris Glasspool, Jane King and Roger Cohen MBE

The commendations, made by the RNLI's Director of Lifesaving Operations, John Payne were presented to the station's Coxswain/Mechanic, Lewis Arnold, volunteer crew member Chris Glasspool and to the whole station, which was accepted by Lifesaving Operations Manager Roger Cohen MBE, on behalf of the crew.

The presentations were made during a visit from Jane King, the outgoing High Sheriff of East Sussex in a ceremony recently held at the station.

On 24 December 2021, the Newhaven lifeboat was tasked to two paragliders who had been cut off by the tide. Both casualties were exhausted and unable to self-assist. Newhaven’s Severn class, the David and Elizabeth Acland, launched in difficult sea conditions.

After assessing the wave sequence, Newhaven All weather lifeboat’s daughter Y-boat* was skilfully manoeuvred between the rocks and gullies after assessing the wave sequence. Gaining access to the two casualties was challenging due to their proximity to the cliff face and the effect of the incoming tide surging against the cliff.

Phill Corsi, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager, said: ‘Lewis Arnold and Chris Glasspool demonstrated their dependable and courageous skills on that Christmas Eve. Their selfless actions saved the lives of two paragliders in the face of very challenging conditions.’

Roger Cohen MBE, Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: ‘These commendations are testament to our volunteer lifeboat crew’s dedication and bravery. The whole lifeboat station thanks the outgoing High Sheriff for coming to Newhaven Lifeboat to recognise the determination and commitment demonstrated by Lewis Arnold and Chris Glasspool during this rescue.’

In his official commendation John Payne, the RNLI's Director of Lifesaving Operations paid tribute to the crew:

'On behalf of the RNLI I would like to express my sincere thanks for your dedication and service to Newhaven Lifeboat Station. It was a challenging service and your determination and commitment to saving lives at sea is greatly appreciated. Undoubtedly your actions saved the lives of the casualties.


Notes for the Editor

* A Y boat is a small inflatable lifeboat which is carried on the RNLI's Severn class lifeboat and can be launched where rescues are required in particularly tight spaces, or close to shore.

- RNLI – Royal National Lifeboat Institution

- About the High Sheriff:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Originally the office held many powers now vested in the Lord-Lieutenant, High Court Judges, Magistrates, Local Authorities, Coroners and the Inland Revenue.

4. 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 bythe Crown through warrant from the Privy Council

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Jane King, outgoing High Sheriff and Roger Cohen MBE stand together

RNLI/Sam Carragher

Jane King, outgoing High Sheriff and Roger Cohen MBE
Chris Glasspool with his commendation

RNLI/Sam Carragher

Chris Glasspool with his commendation

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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