High Sheriff of West Sussex Visits Selsey Lifeboat Station

23rd January 2018

Martin Blaker, Lady Emma & Martin Rudwick. Rob and Colvin
Martin Rudwick, Lady Emma, Martin Blaker and Ali O'Neill. Rob Archibald, Richard Wiseman, Martin Rudwick, Lady Emma, Martin Blaker, Ali O'Neill, and Colvin Rae

Selsey Lifeboat Station today hosted a visit by the High Sheriff of West Sussex, Lady Emma Barnard. The High Sheriff is appointed annually as the sovereign's representative in West Sussex in all matters relating to the judiciary and the maintenance of law and order. During her term of office Lady Emma had previously visited the fire brigade, police and ambulance services and expressed a desire to visit the RNLI as a "voluntary emergency service". We are delighted that Selsey Lifeboat Station was selected for this visit. She was welcomed at the station by RNLI Selsey Lifeboat Station Chairman, Colvin Rae, Martin Rudwick, Selsey Lifeboat Coxwain, Martin Blaker, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager, and Ali O'Neill, RNLI Philanthropy Manager from RNLI Headquarters in Poole.

After an introductory chat about the role of the station and the various volunteer roles associated with supporting the crew, she was introduced to some of the volunteer Lifeboat Shop staff and boathouse attendants and volunteer crew and station officials. The Coxswain and Mechanic invited her to tour 'Denise & Eric', our Shannon Class all weather Lifeboat. She was extremely interested and asked lots of relevant questions and was keen to see every area in the boat including the engine room and survivor cabin. Next on the agenda was an explanation of the operation of the Supacat launching gear by Richard Wiseman, Head Launcher at Selsey Lifeboat, followed by a tour of the new crew facilities.

Lady Emma met with all present and expressed her sincere thanks for a very informative and memorable visit. She now really understands the challenges faced by the volunteer crews and the vital support provided by fundraisers, shop volunteers and boathouse attendants in raising the funds necessary to support the Selsey Lifeboat crews in saving lives at sea while also increasing awareness of the role of the RNLI and Selsey Lifeboat in particular. The Chairman thanked her for an interest and extended an invitation to her to return on Lifeboat Week Launch Day 2018 on the 5th August to see the work of all the volunteers and enjoy the display of our Lifeboats afloat.