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Shoreham lifeboat heroes clock up 50 years at sea
10:48am Wednesday 11th December 2013 in News
Two lifeboatmen have been awarded long service badges after clocking up a total of 50 years at sea.
Simon Tugwell, who joined the Shoreham lifeboat crew at the age of 17, has been given his 30-year service badge.
Mr Tugwell followed in his father Geoff’s footsteps – he was involved with the lifeboat for 42 years.
He started on the inshore lifeboat as a trainee and worked his way up to senior helmsman, as well as becoming a crewman on the all weather lifeboat. In 2000 he became second mechanic before passing out as second coxswain in 2012.
He started serving on the Rother-class lifeboat The Davys Family while his father was emergency mechanic on the boat.
Keith Stevens, who was awarded his 20-year badge, joined Selsey lifeboat crew and eventually became second mechanic at the station, serving there for ten years.
He then moved to Shoreham and became a relief mechanic for the RNLI, providing cover at 15 different lifeboat stations in the region.
Mr Tugwell said: “The lifeboat is a huge part of my life and I can’t believe I have been involved for 30 years. I have seen some big changes in that time. When I first started going to sea, the lifeboat did eight knots now our Tamar-class all weather lifeboat does 25 knots, so our response times are much quicker.
“Some of the services I have been involved in which stand out, are the rescue of the stricken yacht Trimley Maid in gale force nine winds off the coast in 1999 and the floods in Lewes and Uckfield of 2000.”
Mr Stevens added: “I have seen many changes over the years from the different lifeboats to the training of the crews. We have a highly trained crew at Shoreham and it is great to be part of the team.”
The pair were presented with their service awards by Shoreham Lifeboat chairman, Dr Tim Stevenson, at the station’s annual Christmas dinner at the Sussex Yacht Club.
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