Shoreham Harbour RNLI: Station appoints first employed coxswain in its 156-year history

Shoreham Harbour RNLI has appointed the first employed station coxswain in the history of the station.

Simon Williams, 40, has taken on the full-time role as coxswain and mechanic at the volunteer-led charity.

He joined the team as a voluntary lifeboat crew member in 2006 and became a volunteer mechanic at the start of 2010 before becoming an inshore lifeboat helm in 2011.

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Simon then became a full-time mechanic in August 2019 and began his training to become a coxswain at the same time.

Former coxswain Steve Smith, left, congratulates the new coxswain-mechanic Simon Williams, watched by crew members at Shoreham RNLI. Picture: Derek Martin DM21081089a

He said: “I am delighted to become the full-time station coxswain-mechanic and working with the dedicated fantastic team of volunteers here at Shoreham.”

He had to pass a rigorous RNLI assessment and training programme to become the coxswain, taking over from Steve Smith.

Simon’s first service as a newly-qualified lifeboat coxswain-mechanic saw him aboard the all-weather lifeboat, helping to save the life of a fisherman whose boat overturned and sank.

Simon said: “The fisherman didn’t even have time to make a Mayday call because his boat sank so quickly. He was extremely lucky it was seen by the NCI, who alerted the coastguard and we found him in the water.

“He had already been there about 20 minutes and didn’t have a life jacket. We are just glad we were able to respond and it was a positive outcome.”