29 April 2016

Shoreham Port has always had strong links with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and is in regular communication with members of the Shoreham Lifeboat Station. The Port is extremely proud to have five of its staff members employed as volunteers for the RNLI. Mark Hayes, Keith Laker, Paul Watts, Steve Gates and Hazel Condell are all members of the Shoreham Lifeboat Station.

Mark Hayes is the Marine Operations Manager at the Port and joined the RNLI in 1996. Mark commented “I come from a fishing family; the fishing community has always relied on the support of the RNLI. I was keen to give something back and help others like me. The best part of the job is getting out to sea on our state-of-the-art lifeboat.”

Keith Laker is a Coxswain at the Port and has been volunteering for the RNLI since 1997. Keith joined the RNLI after the passing of his father. He had spent his childhood on his local beach and river, seeing the boats come and go from shouts or exercises. Keith commented “Whenever the maroons were put up my Dad would be out the door with me in tow to catch the launch. When I joined, what soon became very clear was how strong the volunteer spirit was at Shoreham and throughout the institution.”

Paul Watts is Senior Coxswain/Assistant Hydrographer at the Port and joined the RNLI in 2008. With more time on his hands, Paul was keen to volunteer for the RNLI and put his 35 years’ experience out at sea to good use. Paul commented “I am a member of the Deputy Launching Authority (DLA) and I’m responsible for calling the Coast Guard when an emergency comes through and deciding which boat to launch for the rescue. Volunteering for the RNLI brings an enormous amount of satisfaction, especially when a successful rescue takes place.”

Steve Gates is a Lockmaster at the Port and joined the RNLI eight years ago. Steve commented “I have lived locally by the sea all my life and I am familiar with most of the coastal features and coastline on my patch. As a DLA member I carry a pager 24/7 for one week a month. It is an exciting role and I am pleased that I am able to do my bit to help.”

Hazel Condell is Senior Accounts Administrator at Shoreham Port and joined the RNLI at the beginning of the year, after applying to join at the end of 2015. Hazel commented “I joined because I grew up with a family member who was previously crew and really inspired me to apply to volunteer and give something back to the community. I’ve only just begun my journey with the RNLI and I have a lot of training and experience to come hopefully. I look forward to all of the opportunities ahead and my next shout out.”

Julian Seaman, Harbour Master at Shoreham Port commented “Being based on the Port, our staff are able to attend calls at any time and can reach the lifeboat station in a matter of minutes, which is vital when every second counts in an emergency. We are very proud of their dedication and commitment to the RNLI. The lifeboat station plays an important role in our community and is a key stakeholder of the Port. We look forward to continuing our support and close working relationship with the RNLI.”