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Happisburgh RNLI volunteer takes the Helm after extensive training

Lifeboats News Release

On the 30 October Peter Walker passed out as Helm of the Station’s D Class lifeboat Russell Pickering. In order to pass he had to sit written papers before going to sea with an RNLI assessor to complete his pass out; after all this he was successful.

Peter Walker New Helm at Happisburgh Credit P Smith RNLI

RNLI/Philip Smith

Peter Walker New Helm at Happisburgh. Credit P Smith RNLI

Peter said: ‘I passed out as Happisburgh Lifeboat Station’s latest Helm. I’m really pleased to continue as crew and now lead them when necessary.

'I am passionate about the service and the way it runs as a charitable organisation and have tried to support them all my life. I first became aware and fascinated by the institution as a child, visiting Clacton-on-Sea’s lifeboat at the end of the pier when visiting grandparents, always chucking some of my pocket money in their bucket. Later, I donated money monthly.

'During my career as a firefighter we undertook several fund raising events culminating in myself swimming the English Channel solo in 2009. A proportion of the money raised was donated again to the RNLI. There are obvious links there with sea swimming but they go further as I am a yacht owner and regular sailor.'

Peter continued: 'Sadly I had never lived in the right place to be a crew member. Covid changed that when, after my retirement, my plans were scuppered and I ended up moving to Norfolk in December 2020, an area I was unfamiliar with. I quickly stumbled upon Happisburgh Lifeboat Station and offered my services, thinking I’d be too old, too far away and they’d already have enough crew. None of that was true, and they welcomed me with open arms.

'It’s been tough studying and practicing for several months but certainly a worthwhile challenge! But the work doesn’t stop there - we now need to train several new crew members to increase our assets and hone my skills. My wife hopes to join the station soon to help out ashore and I look forward to continuing the lifesaving work of the RNLI.

'I’d like to take the opportunity to formally thank my wife and everyone on the station who have been there to help me achieve this role without whose support I would not have been able to do so and continue to help the RNLI deliver its services to the community and its visitors.'

The station’s Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM), Rachael Kirkham, said: ‘I'm very pleased for Peter and thank him for all his hard work. We are always looking for new Volunteers to join our crew at Happisburgh in many roles.

'If you are interested and would like to know more then visit the Station at Cart Gap, Happisburgh on either a Sunday morning or Tuesday evening when we are training or call 01692 583269 and leave a message or email [email protected] we will get back to you. Please bear in mind we are not manned all the time.'

RNLI Picture captions

The photo show Peter Walker new Helm. Credit P Smith RNLI.

RNLI Media contacts

Happisburgh Lifeboat Station volunteer Press Officer Philip Smith:

Mobile 07766007936, email [email protected]

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.