Two men whose hobby has been to, quite separately, take fishing boats out into the Solent have each now qualified as the latest volunteer helms of Cowes RNLI lifeboat.
Ady Stothard, aged 41 and working for a firm making fruit and vinegar products, had been an ordinary member of the crew for the past three years, six months after joining the station.
“I have had a few fishing boats over the years,” he recalled. “And as I always appreciated that the RNLI would help me if I was ever in trouble, I thought I would like to give something back to the organisation.”
Like Ady, Myles Hussey also likes to get out into the Solent with a fishing boat.
“And I, too, had seen the lifeboat while out there,” said Myles, aged 30 and a self-employed plumber. “By joining the RNLI I am giving something back to the community.”
He had been on the lifeboat’s crew list for the past one and half years – a year after joining the station.
Welcoming the two men’s qualification to take charge of the station’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat – which normally carries a crew of four – Station Operations Manager Mark Southwell said, “They have worked very hard to achieve command status, well supported professionally in their training by the existing helms.
“And the fact that both qualified as helms on the first attempt reflects the high opinion the independent assessor has of them.
“Cowes continues to train future helms. To offer 24-hour cover, and provide boat crew training and local assessment, eight helms are the optimum for our station. We currently have six.”