Byline: Keith (Spud) Murphy has announced his retirement from active duty as volunteer crewman aboard Eastbourne lifeboats after nearly 30 years loyal service.
Page Content: Keith first joined the lifeboat crew in 1984 as a shore helper involved in the complicated process of launching the ‘Rother’ class all weather lifeboat ‘Duke of Kent’ from the beach at Fisherman’s Green. Since then he has been a crewman aboard all subsequent inshore and all-weather lifeboats associated with Eastbourne RNLI up to the current state of the art ‘Tamar’ class all weather boat ‘Diamond Jubilee’.

During his long service Keith has been involved in many high profile rescues including the medal winning service to the yacht ‘Paperchase’ which foundered on rocks at the entrance to Sovereign Harbour during a severe storm on the night of October 20th 2002. For his part in this rescue Keith received a Medal Service Certificate from the RNLI.

Brought about by work and family commitments making it impossible to respond to his pager 24/7 Keith decided to make Sunday’s exercise launch his last. Keith enjoyed taking the helm of Diamond Jubilee to Beachy Head (rather than his customary position in front of a radar screen) and helping the younger crew with their training exercise. The volunteer crew of Eastbourne’s inshore lifeboat came alongside and Keith transferred for an exhilarating wave bouncing trip before returning to the ALB.

Keith intends to remain as part of the crew for the foreseeable future as a shore helper assisting with the launch and recovery of the all-weather lifeboat.  


Byline: The creator of revolutionary first aid training for RNLI volunteers is among the charity’s volunteers and staff recognised in the New Year’s Honours.
Page Content:

The commitment and expertise of RNLI volunteers and staff have been recognised with New Year’s Honours for RNLI Clinical Operations Manager Paul Savage, RNLI Legacy Income Manager Sue Fernley and Port Isaac Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Robert Bulgin.

Volunteer lifeboat crew members often treat casualties in demanding and stressful environments – from the deck of a lifeboat in a Force 9 gale, to flooded homes, and even when ‘off duty’ at road traffic accidents or incidents within their communities. And so being equipped with vital first aid skills goes a long way to ensuring they are ready for anything.

Paul Savage, the RNLI’s Clinical Operations Manager and volunteer crew member at Tower lifeboat station, has been instrumental in developing a bespoke casualty care course for the RNLI’s 4,500 volunteers. It is so simple it has proved revolutionary not only for the charity, but also for other emergency services who are now adopting the same approach.   

Paul is now being recognised for his work with an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s New Year Honours List 2014. 

What separates his methodology from any that has gone before it is its simplicity; a process that relies on check cards as opposed to memory, meaning crew members and lifeguards can quickly assess casualties and provide the most appropriate treatment.

And because RNLI crew members come from all walks of life – from builders to tree surgeons – the training does not rely on a medical background.

The training is reinforced by treatment cards, manuals, scenario training cards and e-books, all designed by Paul, and approved by the College of Paramedics and the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh).

As Paul says, ‘It’s about equipping people with the skills and the confidence to treat casualties, whether that’s in their role as a volunteer crew member on a lifeboat or patrolling the beach as a lifeguard. Increasingly we’ve known lifeguards and crew witness various medical incidents away from their RNLI role and have been able to stabilise the casualty until an ambulance arrives, all thanks to their training. It just goes to show that these are skills for life.’

‘I am incredibly proud of all of our lifeboat crew and lifeguards -– treating people in the hostile environment in which we work is incredibly difficult and they do a very good job.’

Paul Boissier, the RNLI’s Chief Executive, says: ‘I have no doubt that this training has helped save many more lives, and it’s brilliant that Paul’s work has been recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours List. We’re very proud.’

Elsewhere, RNLI volunteers and staff alike have also been recognised in the Honours List.

The RNLI’s Legacy Income Manager, Sue Fernley, has been appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Sue ran the RNLI’s legacy team for 21 years – one of the most complex, time consuming and critical jobs in the RNLI. Without her skill and compassion, the charity’s rescue service would undoubtedly be affected. Legacies account for 60% of the RNLI’s income every year, and Sue’s role requires skill, diplomacy, sensitivity, and a substantial amount of unpaid overtime – time that she cheerfully puts in for the sake of the charity and, more importantly, for the bereaved families. 

Sue also devotes a lot of her spare time to the community of Poole.  For over 30 years she has been leader of the local Brownie troop. 

Paul Boissier, RNLI Chief Executive, said: “Sue Fernley is the embodiment of charitable service. She is one of the people who quietly, and without fanfare, contributes massively to the wellbeing of her community.  Whether it is in her uniquely sensitive role of working with bereaved families to deliver the RNLI’s legacy funding, or instructing young Brownies, she brings a ready smile, a willingness to contribute to the full and a heart of gold.”

Robert Bulgin, known by most as Bob, has been a volunteer with the RNLI lifeboat station in Port Isaac for the past 13 years, both in his capacity as Chairman of the fundraising branch (2005) and as the station’s press officer (2000). He has been recognised with a Medal of the Order of the British Empire (BEM).

Bob has organised numerous balls, auctions, lotteries and tea parties to bring much needed funds into the charity’s collection boxes. He also liaises with the local media following on from rescues, and helps to raise the profile of the RNLI’s volunteer crew amongst the local community.

Bob also provides enduring and vitally important pastoral care for the station’s crew members, most notably following a dramatic and challenging rescue in April 2012 in which a father and son were pulled from heavy seas at Tregardock.

Tom Mansell, RNLI Divisional Operations Manager, says Bob is an extremely valuable member of the RNLI team at Port Isaac;

‘Bob is a pivotal member of the team at the lifeboat station, wearing two hats as Lifeboat Press Officer and Chairman. He provides wisdom, support, humour and advice in appropriate measure and I know he is appreciated by everyone around him. People like Bob are the lifeblood of our charity and I and the regional staff are all delighted to see him honoured in this way.’

Leley Waite, Deputy Faculty Manager for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Lancaster Universtiy was also recognised with a BEM in part for her work for the RNLI.

Media contacts

Notes to editors

  • Following 15 years working for the NHS, Paul joined the RNLI in 2005 as a Sea Survival Trainer. Paul was volunteer lifeboat crew at Poole Lifeboat Station from 1985-2001. In November 2012, Paul returned to volunteering as a crew member at Tower Lifeboat Station on the River Thames, working to improve the product he designed by immersing himself in the RNLI’s busiest station in the UK. He juggles this voluntary commitment in London with his day job, based at the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, often travelling many hours between the two. He is also chairman of the UK Search and Rescue (SAR) Medical Group, helping to share expertise and further improve the methods being used across all UKSAR organisations.
  • The casualty care methodology that the RNLI uses is colloquially known as ‘Big Sick, Little Sick’, and works on the principle that lifeboat crew members and lifeguards can identify the severity of a casualty’s injury or illness, then determining the best course of treatment. 


Byline: One week on and Happisburgh RNLI Lifeboat station volunteers were reunited with Quila, the dog they rescued off Sea Palling on the 22 December.
Page Content: Today, 29 December 2013, Mike and Caroline Jenner brought Quila and her daughter Summi to meet the crew who had pulled Quila from the reefs off Sea Palling. Jake Munday, Will Baker and Sean Ferguson had been out on their morning training exercise last Sunday when they were made aware of the lost dog, last seen drifting out to sea off Sea Palling. 


Today was a much more pleasant meeting; Quila was pleased to meet up with the crew again. Mike and Caroline, the dog’s owners, were so grateful to the crew for their hard work.  After the meeting they all went back to the crew room where they were able to watch the whole rescue on video, with the crew giving them the full story.  Then Quila presented a donation to Will Baker on behalf of the RNLI.

Notes to editors

Happisburgh Currently Operates,

Atlantic 75,  B – 742  “Douglas Paley”

D-Class,  D – 607  “Spirit of Berkhamsted” 

Happisburgh Lifeboat Station Volunteer Press Officer PHILIP SMITH, Mobile 07766007936,   E-mail 

RNLI media contacts

  •  Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/South East/East)
    0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 /
  • James Oxley, RNLI Press Officer (London/South East/East)
    0207 6207425 / 07786 668825 /
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789


Byline: Volunteer lifeboat crews from Filey and Bridlington were called out to a ferry with over 900 passengers which had a fire on board 30 miles east of Filey late last night (Saturday 28 December).
Page Content:

Humber Coastguard requested the launch of Filey’s Mersey class all-weather lifeboat The Keep Fit Association shortly before 10.30pm to the DFDS ferry King Seaways following a fire in a cabin, resulting in a number of persons suffering smoke inhalation and possibly over twenty who might require medical evacuation. Within ten minutes of the call, the lifeboat had launched under the command of Deputy 2nd Coxswain, Richard Johnson.
Fortunately, just as the lifeboat arrived at the scene, a small number of passengers had been lifted off by helicopter and it was decided that others could be safely taken back to Tyneside from where the ferry had sailed earlier in the evening en route for Ijmuiden in Holland.
Richard Johnson, Filey’s duty Coxswain last night, said: ‘Luckily the situation resolved itself quite quickly and the helicopters managed to evacuate those needing hospital treatment. RNLI crews are always trained to respond to any kind of emergency and this was potentially a major incident.’

The lifeboat returned to Filey in the early hours of Sunday morning. Meanwhile the fire is still being investigated by Humberside and Northumberland Police Forces.


Notes to editors

  • Filey Lifeboat Station has been operating since 1804. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to

RNLI Media Contacts

For more information please telephone

  • John Ward, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07771800748 or 
  • Alison Levett, RNLI Public Relations Manager (North) on 07786 668912 or
  • For queries outside of office hours, contact the RNLI Duty Press Officer on 01202 336789


Byline: Dart RNLI inshore lifeboat launched twice within two hours after severe storm force winds hit Dartmouth on the morning of December 23rd
Page Content: In extreme weather our volunteer lifeboat crew are principally concerned with saving lives rather than property. However, when moored vessels break free there is a real possibility of boatmen taking undue risks to save their vessels or of injury to those living on their boats in the harbour.
At its height the roaring wind lifted the surface of the river in the harbour and threw it in white spiralling plumes sixty feet in the air.
The initial call out followed a report that a man in a small dinghy could be in trouble as he tried to secure a thirty four foot yacht that had snapped the mooring lines holding her to the deep water pontoon. When the lifeboat reached the scene it was apparent that the boatman was safe but the boat was surging forward in the wind and was in danger of holing itself on the steel buoy securing the pontoon. Extra lines were attached and the yacht was made secure before the lifeboat returned to station.
Forty five minutes later the pagers sounded again. A forty five foot Moody yacht had snapped its bow chain and was in danger of breaking free. With the assistance of the Dart Harbour Patrol the chain was replaced and the boat was secured. The lifeboat volunteers were then tasked to check on a further four yachts that had broken their mooring lines on the Visitors pontoon and to re-secure them. Finally the Coastguard directed them to the seventy foot water bowser, the Boy Oasis. She was attached to the Fairmile, the WW2 Heritage ship, and when the up-river line of the Boy Oasis parted in the storm she was dragging the two boats into the main channel. Working with the Dart Harbour Patrol boat the crew were able to re-attach a line and to tow the vessels back to their mooring position.
These two launches mean that this year has been the third busiest in the Dart RNLI’s brief six year history.


Byline: At 1655 hours on Sunday 22nd December, 2013 Belfast Coastguard requested the assistance of Helensburgh RNLI lifeboat
Page Content: as it was suspected that a vessel was in difficulty in Loch Goil; flashing white lights had been reported by a member of the public. 
 The lifeboat was launched at 1705 hours and made passage towards Loch Goil.  However, before reaching the loch it was asked to return to station as the situation had been resolved.  While the lifeboat was on passage, a fishing boat in the loch reported that the lights appeared to be coming from the shore close to Carrick Castle.  This report was investigated and confirmed by Rescue Helicopter 177 who advised that there were two persons walking a dog on the shore who had got lost.  They were picked up by the helicopter and taken to safety.  The lifeboat returned to station and reported ready for service again at 1806 hours.


Byline: At 9.10am on Saturday the 21st of December, volunteer crew members from Criccieth’s RNLI lifeboat station were tasked to assist in a search for a missing person in rough seas.
Page Content: ​​The station’s Atlantic 85 class lifeboat, Doris Joan, was quickly launched from Criccieth and commenced a near-shore search in an operation involving; both Pwllheli lifeboats, local HM Coastguard teams and RAF Valley’s search-and-rescue helicopter.  The search was in response to reports of a person missing from Pwllheli since late Friday evening.  Criccieth’s lifeboat followed the coastline from Criccieth to Penychain point in rough and demanding conditions. 

 The lifeboat performed four sweeps of the coastline, before being stood down by HM Coastguard some two-and-a-half hours later. ​

For further information, please contact Ifer Gwyn, Criccieth Lifeboat Press Officer on 07554445316 or​


Byline: Thousands of RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew are on call and ready to save lives at sea throughout the Christmas and New Year holiday.
Page Content:

They may be settling down with their families to a turkey lunch, but all plans will be put on hold if the pagers go off, signalling that someone may be in trouble at sea.

Over the festive period in 2012, RNLI volunteer crews at the 237 lifeboat stations across the UK and Republic of Ireland launched 139 times and rescued 51 people in the period between 23 December and 1 January.

On New Year’s Eve 2012, volunteers from the Port Isaac lifeboat crew raced through rough seas to rescue an angler who had been washed off rocks into the freezing water. In the fading light, the crew managed to get the fisherman on board before entering Boscastle Harbour in extremely difficult conditions. Christopher Key, Boscastle Harbour Master, oversaw the arrival of the lifeboat and said at the time:

‘I have no doubt that the decision to enter Boscastle Harbour with the light fading and nearly gone was extremely difficult and in my opinion the courage and ability demonstrated by the crew was of the highest calibre. I know that the crew selflessly put their own lives at very great risk that night.’

It wasn’t just coastal rescues that took place last Christmas, with the RNLI’s volunteer Flood Rescue Team deployed to the South West in a daring rescue that later saw them awarded with RNLI Bronze Gallantry Medals and the Pride of Britain Emergency Services Award. They were recognised for helping to rescue Vanessa Glover who was left clinging to a branch in fast-flowing flood waters in Umberleigh, Devon on 23 December 2012.

In 2013, RNLI lifeboats and lifeguards were involved in thousands of rescues, with many people celebrating a special Christmas this year thanks to the lifesaving work of the RNLI.

When David was up to his waist in quicksand off the North West coast in July, he didn’t think he’d see tomorrow, let alone Christmas. But thanks to the volunteer RNLI crew from New Brighton who pulled him out in the nick of time, he’s making this Christmas extra special by taking his family out to the US for a special celebration.

He said: ‘I know I wouldn’t be here without the help from the RNLI, so my family and I wanted to do something a bit different this year for Christmas. I’m just glad that there were the right people there to help me and I have nothing but respect for the emergency services especially as those who got me out were volunteers.’

A family from Derbyshire will also be enjoying Christmas this year thanks to the RNLI. When Mike and Jan King’s speedboat was engulfed by a wave in June, it left them, their daughter and friends stranded on a sinking boat. Thanks to the volunteer RNLI crew from Moelfre who were there to rescue them, they are making this a more meaningful Christmas with a special reunion; made all the sweeter by their daughter’s recent engagement.

Jan said: ‘We’d all had not very pleasant thoughts as those waves hit us and without that crew arriving I don’t think we’d be here for Christmas possibly. You don’t know when a wave engulfs you like that, you can be under the water, thrown overboard very, very quickly, but [Moelfre RNLI] were there to rescue us.

‘We’re here for Christmas – thank goodness – and I know all five of us will be getting together and enjoying a very special Christmas. It has brought us all much closer together since it happened.’

For the crew of Tower lifeboat station on the Thames, the busiest lifeboat station anywhere in the RNLI, Christmas day is just like any other day at the office – they’re on duty and ready to help anyone in trouble on the river. But for the past six years, there’s one person who makes it very special for them; Pennie Donaghy, the wife of crew member John. Pennie, sometimes with daughter Carrie and their Jack Russell, gives up a Christmas at home to treat the crew to a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, feeding up to 12 hungry lifeboat men and women.

Husband John said: ‘We have duties to do, like cleaning the boat. So after breakfast, Pennie starts the dinner and we go out. And when we open the door to come back in and smell the turkey, that is fantastic. The crew wear their drysuits half on at lunch because we launch within 90 seconds when the bell goes, so we have to be ready; Christmas dinner or not!’

RNLI lifeguards will also be putting their turkey dinner on hold this year to spend Christmas patrolling the sands at Sefton and Boscombe beaches. The charity’s lifeguards are offering safety advice to anyone tempted to brave the cold water this winter. RNLI Staff Officer for Lifeguards, Peter Dawes, says:

‘As the water is extremely cold this time of year, we’d suggest anyone planning to go into the water to make sure they are fully prepared with the appropriate clothing and equipment for the conditions.’


Notes to editors
• *The festive period was defined as 23 Dec to New Year’s Day.
• For more information on any of these rescue stories, or for details of others, please contact the Press Office on 01202 336789 or
• For more information on Port Isaac rescue:  
• For more information on Umberleigh, Devon rescue: 
• For more information on Moelfre rescue:
• For more information on Crosby rescue:
• For more information on Boscombe Lifeguards on duty this Christmas:
• Pictures show:
– Boscombe lifeguards on a snowy beach at Christmas. Credit Joanna Quinn.
– Dungeness mersey class lifeboat Pride and Spirit 12-27 being launched by tractor in the snow. Credit Noel Packer.
– Flood Rescue Team stock image of St Asaph floods in 2012. Credit RNLI.
– RNLI 4×4 vehicle towing Seahouses D-class inshore lifeboat along the harbour in the snow. Credit Nigel Millard.
RNLI media contacts
The RNLI Press Office will operate a 24/7 on call duty service throughout the Christmas period. Please call the main Press Office number on 01202 336789 or email

RNLI online
For more information on the RNLI please visit News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre


Byline: Earlier in the summer brothers Jamie and Luke Regan set themselves the double challenge of tackling the gruelling Beachy Head Marathon in October and raising funds for Eastbourne lifeboats.
Page Content: Trainee lifeboat crewman Jamie and his brother Luke spent many hours jogging across the Downs in preparation for the 26 mile plus off road event which winds its way around some of the most stunning scenery in Sussex with the last six miles up and down the lung sapping Seven Sisters coastal path.

Not only did they complete the marathon but they also managed to raise a staggering £762.77 for Eastbourne lifeboats. To show the station’s appreciating of their efforts the pair were taken to Beachy Head aboard the all-weather lifeboat Diamond Jubilee and treated to mince pies and hot tea on their return.


Byline: Ramsgate RNLI’s all weather lifeboat launched at 11.06am on Saturday, 14th. December to assist a local fishing boat with a fouled propeller.
Page Content: Upon reaching the vessel which was 3.5 miles NNE of Ramsgate Harbour the RNLI station’s Trent class lifeboat, Esme Anderson, took it in tow and brought it safely into the harbour to an area where it would be left beached and, once the tide had ebbed, the owner would be able to clear the propeller.

RNLI media contacts
• John Ray, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer (Ramsgate Lifeboat)
07759 480825 /
• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 /
• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 33678.