New blood appeal as RNLI stalwarts retire

OUT AT SEA: Lyme lifeboat

RETIRING: Colin Jones

TEN YEARS: Phil Ball

First published in News by , Reporter

LYME REGIS: Two new senior members to bolster the town’s lifeboat crew are wanted.

Two stalwarts who have clocked up more than 50 years voluntary service between them, have announced their plans to retire by Christmas this year.

Colin Jones, 64, has been a lifeboat volunteer for 42 years and Phil Ball, 66, has served in Lyme Regis for ten years.

The pair are both DLAs – Deputy Launching Authorities – and are the first point of contact when coastguards request launching of the lifeboat.

They are part of the management team of the Lyme lifeboat station, which has a total of 35 volunteers.

Lifeboat operations manager Grahame Forshaw said: “Both Colin and Phil have been terrific volunteers with the RNLI, and we urgently need top quality people to replace their expertise.”

Colin has served as shore crew and helmsman, and was awarded the RNLI’s bronze medal for his part in the 1979 rescue of five people from a storm-stricken yacht.

Phil, a former RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot, has been a DLA for eight years.

He will continue in his role as a shore crew member and visitor officer after giving up his DLA duties.

The lifeboat station has five DLAs, who share a duty rota, which means they are on call for about three days once every six weeks.

Grahame Forshaw added: “Maritime experience would be useful, but not essential. However, a DLA should be computer literate.”

Operating from within the world famous Cobb Harbour, the lifeboat station at Lyme Regis has an inshore B class lifeboat. The crews have been presented with 20 awards for gallantry.

This station is classed as an ‘Explore’ station, which offers the best visitor experience. With free access, people can go inside and look around the station, see the lifeboat and, in most cases, pre-book a tour.

They are normally open all year and have an RNLI gift shop.

Anyone interested in joining the Lyme Regis crew as a DLA should contact Mr Forshaw at the RNLI lifeboat station, The Cobb, Lyme Regis, DT7 3JJ or email g.forshaw@westdorset-dc.gov.uk

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