Lifesaver Andy swaps the Thames for RNLI Lyme Regis
The latest recruit to join the volunteers who crew Lyme Regis' RNLI lifeboat is swapping the River Thames for Lyme Bay.
Andy Butterfield,42, joined the RNLI at Teddington 13 years ago and has just moved to Uplyme with this wife Jacqui and children Harry,7, and Alexandra,11.
'It's a massive difference operating on the Thames to going to sea, so there's plenty of learning to be done,' said Andy.
'The decision to move was made on work/life balance, and we felt we wanted to enjoy the coast and countryside as much as possible.'
Andy was a crew member for six years, and helm of the D-class lifeboats on the Thames for a further seven years.
'The Thames involved much first-aid work, and assisting the police and other emergency services, and many of our shouts were at night.'
Despite his years on the Thames Andy, who works in I.T.as a customer experience specialist, is currently a trainee crew member at the lifeboat station on the Cobb illustrating the huge difference between the two locations.
'Like many of my volunteer colleagues I joined the RNLI because I wanted to help those in trouble but, also, of course, there is a great sense of camaraderie,' said Andy.
Key facts about the RNLI
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.
Learn more about the RNLI
Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries
Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.
The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland