Crew Celebrate Another Year of Achievement and Bid Farewells

Happisburgh Lifeboat Station looked back at 2017 with the awards and dinner dance held at Royal Hotel Mundesley on Saturday 17th February 2018 .

Over one hundred people attended the dinner dance.  After the meal the main purpose of the evening was to look back at 2017 before the band ‘Don’t Ask’ took to the stage. The evening raised £654.00 through the Raffle and Auction for the RNLI.

Happisburgh R.N.L.I. Lifeboat Station volunteers were called into action 11 times in 2017 plus 18 safety interventions, part of the RNLI Respect the Water campaign to reduce the number of deaths from drowning.  The callouts included everything from search for Drugs, swimmers ditched Hang glider, boats and dogs in the sea. Overall this lead to two lives being saved.  

We said ‘goodbye’ to  former LOM Cedric Cox after fifty years service to station, Helm Tony Phenix who stood down from crew after twelve years, David Cato who stood down from Crew after six years and Sally Smith who stood down as Treasurer after seven years, Not forgetting The Spirit of Berkhamsted, the station’s D Class Lifeboat after fourteen year on station.

We said ‘Welcome’ to Sean Thurston, Daniel Bunting, David Loveday, Mark Jarvis, Ian Rillie, John Holsworth, as crew and shore crew, Jim Page (Treasurer), Tany Blackburn (Souvenir shop).

Cubitt Siely has taken over Lifeboat Operations Manager.

Two new Lifeboats arrived on station, Atlantic 85 Howard Bell in May and D Class Russell Pickering in September. Both were named on station on 7th October 2017. 

The Kelvin Baker Achievement Award is in memory of Kelvin Baker who was a leading member of the Lifeboat, well respected for his professionalism and boat handing skills as a helmsman. He was taken from us on 17th March 2008, nearly 10 years ago.

Kelly you are not forgotten and the Kelvin Baker achievement award lives on in your memory promoting the commitment and professionalism we like to think he would have approved of.

The Station decided that this year’s Kelvin Baker Achievement award should go to Charlotte Siely

This was for all her extra work on station; she has been on the crew for eight years and has progressed to Helm of both station’s lifeboats.  In 2017 she took control of the station recruitment campaign which was successful with four new crew and two new shore crew being signed up. Then she stepped into the Chair of the Fundraising Committee with a very successful Lifeboat day in August. As well as crew at Happisburgh she also helps crew the Gravesend Lifeboat, and even this week she has been on an Assessor Course in Newhaven to be able to help with training of crew on Station.  How she fits all this in as well as work and home life is a mystery.

The award was presented by Jane Baker, Kelvin’s widow.

The Service Award for Memorable Service was awarded for the service on 19 July 2017

Happisburgh R.N.L.I. Lifeboat Station volunteers were called into action on the afternoon of Wednesday 19th July.  The pagers sounded at 3:15pm for reports of a broken down jet ski off the coast at Waxham, drifting out to sea.

Happisburgh Atlantic, Howard Bell, was on its way at 3:25pm with Tim Grimmer at the helm and Sam Gillard and Martin Gibbs as crew; the Coastguard tasked them to search from Sea Palling towards Winterton. The Jet ski had left Sea Palling an hour before the callout.

The sea conditions were rough when the Lifeboat arrived off Waxham; the Coastguard from Winterton could see the jet ski from the top of the sand dunes so they were able to guide the Lifeboat crew to the jet ski which was now one mile off the coast.  Both persons on the jet ski were uninjured so their craft was towed back to Sea Palling arriving at 4:12pm, where, with the help of the RNLI Lifeguards the jet ski and crew were landed on the beach and looked after by the Lifeguards.  Without the intervention of the lifeboat 2 lives could have been lost.

Howard Bell then returned to station at 4:28pm and had to do a net recovery due to the rough sea at Happisburgh. The Lifeboat was made ready for service again.

It takes a whole team effort to launch the Lifeboat, not just crew.  The shore crew were Bob Mann Steve Poll, Mike Forsdick, Eddy Askew, Cubitt Siely, Rob Ferguson, Cedric Cox and Justin Arnold, not forgetting the RNLI Lifeguards Sea Palling.