A Shoreham lifeboatman has retired after nearly half a century’s work with the RNLI.
Mike Fox has finally hung up his lifejacket and boots after 47 years’ service with the RNLI.
Having reached 65, the retirement age for serving lifeboat shore crew, Mr Fox launched the all-weather lifeboat for the last time when it went on exercise last Tuesday night.
Mr Fox comes from a long-serving family of lifeboat crew. He followed his dad, John Fox, who later became coxswain, into the service, enrolling as crew on January 1, 1967.
He went on to serve on five of Shoreham lifeboat station’s all-weather lifeboats under the command of six different coxswains. He was assistant mechanic on the boat from 1976 to 2001.
He also completed a full tour of duty on the station’s inshore lifeboats (ILB) until retiring as ILB helmsman in March 1994. Over the years, Mr Fox, who now lives in Portslade, received several awards from the RNLI.
He was part of the rescue crew which attended a dinghy which capsized in gales and rough seas on July 20, 1977. He was also awarded an Institution Vellum for meritorious conduct for his part in the famous rescue of 26 crew from the Greek freighter Athina B which foundered in rough seas south of Shoreham, before beaching on Brighton beach in 1980.
He said: “The lifeboat has been a huge part of my life. I have loved it and have some great memories. I am not ready to quite go yet so I hope to still be involved by showing visitors around.
“My sons, Adam and Tim, who are on the lifeboat crew, will ensure the Fox family name continues at the station.”