Mike Cole has been appointed Lifeboat Visits Officer for Selsey Lifeboat Station following the retirement of Mike Valmas.
He was born in Middlesex at the start of the Battle of Britain and worked in a drawing office where he achieved the status of Chief Draughtsman dealing with everything from Rolls Royce Aero engines to brewing equipment.
He has always loved the sea and sailing, and when his wife’s parents moved to Pagham, Mike joined Pagham Yacht Club where, after many years, he became Commodore and, latterly, Vice President.
In 1996 after many weekends and holidays with Lina’s parents, he and Lina moved to Pagham where he found his ideal job working for a chief buyer of a firm that built luxury yachts, which occasionally he was given a chance to crew and helm.
It was through Pagham Yacht Club that Mike's first involvement with Selsey Lifeboat Station came. He held fund raising events for Selsey RNLI and arranged educational visits for the youth members to show them the lifeboats.
Mike said, "For the past seven years, with Lina’s help, I have arranged a search and rescue demo at Pagham with both the RNLI and MCA to raise money for RNLI Selsey. About three years ago I found I had some spare time so I volunteered and became a Boathouse Attendant at Selsey, which I enjoy very much. Lina now helps in the gift shop, so for us Selsey Lifeboat Station has become a real family affair. I am delighted to accept the position of Lifeboat Visits Officer".
Mike Valmas has been Administration Officer and then Lifeboat Visits Officer for eleven years and is the organiser of the Sea Service during Lifeboat Week. Our thanks go to Mike for all his hard work and our best wishes for a long and happy retirement.