20 October 2013
Caption: After Patricia Legg said it with food Cowes RNLI lifeboat station said it with flowers. Also in this ‘thank you’ picture are Richard Weeks (left) and Mark Southwell.
While donations and letters of thanks are the norm, Patricia Legg decided to be more practical, by providing a substantial buffet at Cowes RNLI lifeboat station yesterday. The occasion was a Solent district search and rescue operations (SAROPS) meeting attended by over 40 representatives of the RNLI, HM Coastguard and Hampshire’s marine police.
Patricia, who lives in Hefford Road, East Cowes, explained she had been most appreciative of the work of Cowes lifeboat since an incident in 2005 involving a rescue dog she had. “I was taking him along East Cowes seafront to strengthen him up, when he chased a seagull on the breakwater and then jumped into the sea.
“I immediately tried to wade out to him. But then he was picked up by Cowes inshore lifeboat which operated independently of the RNLI at the time. Since then I have been only too pleased to fund-raise, and I now support the RNLI through the East Cowes branch.”
As at the end of the meeting conference members tucked into appetising food stretching along three tables Mark Southwell, Cowes lifeboat operations manager, said, “It is extremely generous of Patricia. She had made it plain to me she wanted to do something for the station when it hosted such an important regional multi-agency event.”
Jointly chairing the conference were HM Coastguard’s Lee on Solent based rescue co-ordination centre manager Lee Fisher and the operations manager of the RNLI’s Channel Division, Richard Weeks. The RNLI was also represented by technical experts from Poole headquarters and no fewer than ten of their lifeboat stations along the south coast, two via a video conference link.
Subjects covered ranged from an update on Hampshire police craft, significant future operational changes within HM Coastguard including Solent Coastguards, offshore fire-fighting, and future technical improvements planned by the RNLI.
Author: George Chastney, Lifeboat Press Officer.