Helping RNLI after seeing brother drown

RNLI operations manager Paul Metcalfe with Martin Adams
RNLI operations manager Paul Metcalfe with Martin Adams

A BUSINESSMEN who saw his 13-year-old brother drown when he was just 12 has helped the RNLI team who tried to save him by printing and distributing 50,000 leaflets about the charity across East Sussex.

Martin Adams, who runs local firm M A Distribution, was with his family on Cooden Beach back in 1982, checking out the sea defences, when tragedy struck.

Hid dad, Donald Adams, and brother, Simon Staples, were swept out to sea by a huge wage as a fierce storm began battering the coastline. The nearby Eastbourne lifeboat was launched and Mr Adams was dragged ashore. However, young Simon could not be saved.

Now, 30 years later, Mr Adams junior is determined to do his bit to thank the lifeboat crew which rescued his dad and tried so valiantly to get to his brother.

Mr Adams, now a successful businessman, offered to supply and distribute appeal leaflets to homes in the area using his specialist team based in nearby Hailsham.

Together with printing help donated by Eastbourne-based firm Manor Creative, he has created 60,000 leaflets and delivered 50,000 – leading to an upsurge in donations locally.

Speaking to the Herald after an emotional visit to the lifeboat house earlier this week, Mr Adams said, “It was a terrible thing to witness and the conditions were horrendous. I lost my brother but the RNLI managed to save my dad and I saw first hand the work they do.

“Every single time the volunteers go out they put their lives at risk. They are really another emergency service and the amazing thing is they do it for free and in their spare time.”

And he had a message for other local people who might be able to help out the charity. “The RNLI is something the entire town should get behind,” he said.

“They do what they do without any funding from the Government and rely on people’s goodwill.

“You don’t have to give money – there are other ways of helping out, either lending some expertise, some time or doing something to raise funds.

“The work they do is amazing and we should all be proud of them.”

The local RNLI was delighted with Mr Adams’ offer of help and a spokesman said it was especially useful because it showed people that they don’t always have to part with their hard-earned cash to support the charity.

“We are always looking for volunteers to help raise funds,” they said. “And as Martin has proved, that doesn’t always mean cash; sometimes practical help such as this is just as beneficial.

“We are very grateful to M A Distribution and Manor Creative for their support.”