THE coxswain of Eastbourne RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat has been presented with a commemorative badge to mark 20 years of continuous service.
Mark Sawyer joined Eastbourne RNLI in September 1990 as volunteer shorehelper and progressed to become a full crew member of the inshore lifeboat then the ALB in 1993.
He was made second coxswain in 1999 and promoted to coxswain in November 2001.
During his lifeboat career Mark has received seven awards for outstanding service, the most significant an RNLI silver medal for his ‘outstanding seamanship, tremendous courage and fine leadership’ during the rescue of two persons aboard the yacht Paperchase which had foundered on rocks while approaching Sovereign Harbour during a gale in 2003.
Paul Metcalfe, the operational manager at Eastbourne RNLI, said, “Mark’s dedication to saving lives at sea also extends into his private life. He voluntarily conducts sea safety training for local boat owners, visits local schools with sea safety advice and has founded a sea training school for those requiring more formal boating qualifications.”
Volunteer press officer Bob Jeffery said Mark’s influence at the station has probably been one of the biggest contributory factors in Eastbourne RNLI’s extremely high standing in both the local community and the national lifeboat family.
Picture: Mark Sawyer collects his badge from Paul Metcalfe.