Teenager Ted Ward to spend festive period as part of Lymington lifeboat crew – three years after it rescued him when dinghy capsized
THREE years after he was rescued by Lymington lifeboat, a teenager will spend Christmas with his pager close by as part of the station's festive rescue crew.
Ted Ward (17) joined the Lymington station in October but already has first-hand experience of how vital the RNLI can be, having been rescued by the RNLI crew when his dinghy capsized at the mouth of Lymington River.
"I’m yet to get to a shout so I’m really excited," Ted added. "All of my family are really supportive, so you do your duty and come back – whatever I can do to help save lives at sea."
He said he will be ready, even if the call comes during Christmas dinner: "I guess that’s all part of the excitement. I’d rather be on-pager than off during that day."
Ted and fellow new recruit Rob Merrix will both be the festive shore crew volunteers who assist in launching and retrieving the lifeboats.
Joining them are the station’s lifeboat operations manager, Al Mackay, a former RAF serviceman who only took on the responsibility for managing the station in November, and newly qualified helms Declan O’Riordan and Greg Pachany.
Al said: "Obviously, in a way, nobody really wants there to be a shout because it means somebody is in trouble.
"But if somebody needs help, the crew are always happy to go and if that happens to be in the middle of Christmas dinner that doesn’t really matter.
"They will be down the station just as quickly as they would be normally and with the same sort of spirit and teamwork that we would see at any time of the year."
Over the past decade, RNLI lifeboats have launched over 1,200 times during the festive period across the UK. To donate visit RNLI.org/Xmas