Doctor Colin McKee has retired from his position as medical adviser to Eastbourne RNLI after after 37 years loyal service spanning five generations of all-weather lifeboats.
Doctor McKee first joined Eastbourne lifeboats in 1976 a few years after taking up his new medical practice in Hampden Park, and joined the crew of the slipway-launched Watson class ‘Charles Dibdin’. Since then he has served on four different classes of lifeboat leading up to the current hi-tech vessel Diamond Jubilee and has received both silver and gold awards from the RNLI to mark his loyalty and dedication.
He has been instrumental in creating dedicated medical exercises and first aid procedures for the RNLI which now forms the basis of all casualty care training for lifeboat crewmen throughout the UK and Ireland.
Colin has many tales of cold wet nights when casualty vessels were towed to Newhaven before Sovereign Harbour was built, a journey which sometimes took as long as eight hours to complete. One thing Colin says he definitely will not miss is climbing a rope ladder in rolling seas to board a freighter in order to attend an injured crewman.
He said his fondest memories will be of what he called the fantastic crews he has served with over the years and is looking forward to continuing his work for Eastbourne lifeboats in his role as chairman of the Lifeboat Management Group.
He was presented with a framed letter of thanks.