Geologist strengthens the shore crew at RNLI Rye Harbour
To launch a lifeboat requires team effort and the shore crew plays a vital role in enabling rescue operations to take place.
When we embarked on our recruitment drive last autumn we hoped to attract a couple of new recruits. We were delighted to gain seven, including two shore crew members, all of whom are proving to be dedicated team players who are keen to tackle the training involved.
John Rogers, geologist, science technician and boat owner, joined the team at Rye Harbour in September, bringing with him many skills and thus strengthening the already strong shore crew team.
John was born in London and grew up there. He gained a geology degree at Greenwich University and his PhD from Cork followed later. As geology is essentially an historical science the working methods of a geologist resemble those of an historian. John, true to form, is methodical in his preparation of his own boat and that of Rye Harbour’s station, Hello Herbie II, an Atlantic 85. He loves all things associated with the sea and is a knowledgeable seaman.
John assisted the Cambridge University team with the discovery of dinosaur footprints locally. More than 85 footprints made up of at seven different species and including fine detail of skin and scales were uncovered by cliffs between Hastings and Fairlight. They have been described by scientists as the largest and best preserved set from the Cretaceous period ever found in the UK.
As a technician he has gained experience of maintaining and repairing equipment and as a geologist he knows the coastline well. These skills transfer well and his background has enabled John to settle in really quickly to his role as shore crew at the Harbour.
John is a licensed Mudlark. Mudlarking is the urban equivalent of beachcombing (looking on the beach for "treasures" washed up by the sea). There are serious mudlarking enthusiasts who are registered and have all the necessary equipment, and then there are amateur archaeologists and the rest who are intrigued by London's past being displayed on the foreshore every day. He has had items recorded at the Museum of London.
Sharon Gozna, deputy training co-ordinator has worked alongside him and commented, ‘John joined us in September last year and fitted in immediately. Not only is he a valuable member of the shore crew, he is always willing to take out his own boat to use as a casualty vessel in our rescue scenarios. He is also training to be a launcher to add to his skills. The lifeboat is not all about the crew on board - it extends to the crew on shore. John is a perfect example of how without them we could not launch and the rescues would not happen. He is definitely a team player with a great sense of humour and a chief supplier of biscuits at the station.’
He has plans to make a land-yacht to use at Jury’s Gap. John is a man of ideas and a great asset to the team.
RNLI Media contacts
•Kt Bruce, Rye Harbour RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer (07789) 818878 Kt@ktbrucephotography.com
•Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East), 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 firstname.lastname@example.org
•For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789
RNLI online: For more information on the RNLI please visit http://www.rnli.org/. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre.
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 237 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 180 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.
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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.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.