Hat-trick of new helms for Rye Harbour RNLI in 2019

Matt Ellis as helm. Photo by Kt Bruce.
Matt Ellis as helm. Photo by Kt Bruce.

The Rye Harbour RNLI team has been strengthened by its third crew member passing out as helm since April.

Matt Ellis was inspired to join the RNLI as a volunteer as he has always been involved in water activities, and is a keen sailor. He realised the important role the RNLI plays in saving lives at sea and teaching the public to respect the water, and wanted to give back to this dedicated charity by getting involved.

He had spent 12 years in the Army before retiring as a Captain in 2012 and was used to working in a team that shared the same goals: a good background for the RNLI.

He passed out as helm this week, becoming the third crew member to do so since April of this year.


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Matt Ellis and Allen Head. Photo by Kt Bruce.

Matt Ellis and Allen Head. Photo by Kt Bruce.

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Stuart Clark, a new recruit last November and now fully qualified crew member, said: “Matt has been an inspiration to all the crew, especially the trainees, from day one. His dedication and commitment to learning and training are an example to us all. The confidence, clarity and cool head that he brings to even the most tense situations means that we are in safe hands with our newest helm.”

Matt added: “The modular programme delivered by the RNLI ensures that I’ve been trained and gained practice in every type of situation and event that I and my crew might face. The pass-out was the final assessment of these modules and I felt as though I was fully prepared. I look forward to supporting RNLI Rye Harbour and my community as helm on the Atlantic 85.

“We couldn’t do what we do without the continued support of the community and the general public.”