Rye Harbour RNLI welcomes new helm

The team congratulates Tony. Photo by KT Bruce
The team congratulates Tony. Photo by KT Bruce

Rye Harbour RNLI has welcomed a new helmsman to its ranks with the passing out of one its crew members this week.

The team celebrated the success of new helm Tony Peters on Monday night (May 21) as the crew man passed his final tests with flying colours.

Having been involved with the RNLI for 18 years, Tony comes from a family with strong connections to the life-saving charity. His father, Roy, was helm at Brighton RNLI and Tony says he has many happy memories of being involved at Brighton Marina.

Jai Gudgion, a crew member at Rye Harbour said: “Tony has worked very hard to achieve this position. Once a helmsman passes out the real learning begins. He has experience and that comes with a good knowledge base.

“In the years to come, it will be the continuing to build on that, which will give him greater judgement in the many situations he will find himself in. Tony always makes himself available, often sacrificing his own plans for the good of the station or the crew.

“Selflessness is one of the core values of the RNLI and he certainly demonstrates that trait. He is happy to help new crew members, bringing them along, and is approachable in doing so. Congratulations on a well deserved achievement.”

There are many stages to training as helmsman with each stage checked by an independent assessor to ensure that the crew member can demonstrate their knowledge of that particular set of skills. It requires hard work, commitment and determination.

For Tony to become fully trained it has often required the whole team to rally round and support him. For example, when training to become competent in electronic navigation the lifeboat would need to be launched, involving a crew and shore staff.

Rye Harbour says the journey has been a team effort with Tony ably supported by the crew and his family throughout.

Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) Tony Edwards said: “He will be a great asset to the station and now the ball has started rolling I look forward to others following in his footsteps and being passed out as helm.”

Tony passed his final test under the watchful eye of Area Lifesaving Manager Allen Head.