Newhaven RNLI Lifeboat

Newhaven RNLI lifeboat volunteers won a courage award
Newhaven RNLI lifeboat volunteers won a courage award

Newhaven’s RNLI lifeboat volunteers have won a ‘Courage Award’ after helping in the search for a missing schoolboy in severe conditions.

The team attended an annual award ceremony which recognises local heroes who have come to the aid of others, showing strength, bravery and determination in difficult conditions.

It was explained that ‘Newhaven lifeboat recently made the headlines when they took part in the search for a missing school boy in ‘atrocious conditions’ during a huge storm in October.’

As high winds and driving rain battered Sussex on Sunday October 27 the team were joined by coastguard crews as they searched for 14-year-old Dylan Atkins who was swept out to sea as he was playing with friends on Newhaven beach.

The storm also saw fallen trees between Eastbourne and Seaford which affected bus routes and train services. Elsewhere fishing boats were overturned on the beach at Eastbourne and a taxi driver in the town had a lucky escape when a tree fell onto his car in the early hours of the morning. He was able to clamber out of his car and escape unhurt.

At Sovereign FM’s annual awards ceremony three members of the Newhaven Station attended the event at the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne. They were operations manager Mike Tubb, coxswain Paul Legendre, Nick Gentry Search & Rescue Navigator. On collecting the award the Newhaven team received a standing ovation.

Coxswain Paul Legendre said, “It was very humbling to receive such an award and with a standing ovation.

“It is great recognition of the work of our volunteer crews.

“We are also acutely aware that Dylan has not yet been found and our thoughts are still with the family at what must be still a very difficult time. Every time we are afloat the crew continue to look for signs of him.”

Newhaven has celebrated more than 210 years as a lifeboat station, also being the oldest RNLI station in the UK. Newhaven operates an all-weather Seven Class lifeboat ‘RNLB David and Elizabeth Acland’.

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