Lowestoft Lifeboat stalwarts are honoured

Current Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat crew with David Brown and Richard Musgrove holding their awards. Pic

Current Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat crew with David Brown and Richard Musgrove holding their awards. Picture: MICK HOWES - Credit: Archant

The commitment and service given by three dedicated RNLI volunteers has been recognised in Lowestoft.

Current Lifeboat Operations Manager Paul Carter, award reciprient Richard Musgrove and Mike Barlow.

Current Lifeboat Operations Manager Paul Carter, award reciprient Richard Musgrove and Mike Barlow. Pictures: MICK HOWES - Credit: Archant

A former staff coxswain, a lifeboat crewman and a former lifeboat operation manager were honoured with awards at a ceremony at the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club last Sunday.

With the RNLI lifeboat family in Lowestoft turning out in large numbers to recognise the commitment and service given by the three dedicated volunteers, who have decided to stand down from their positions, there was praise for their efforts.

Lifeboat station management chairman Mike Barlow said that the three recipients – David Brown, Richard Musgrove and Ian Firmin – had a wealth of experience and their work had been 'really valuable' to the lifesaving work of the station.

David Brown, affectionately known as Mario, received his award for serving on Lowestoft lifeboat as a crewmember for ten years from 2005 to 2015. He recalled the most memorable call-out that he had been involved with was the rescue of three people from a stranded fast rescue craft that had run aground on an old jetty at Ness Point.

Current Lifeboat Operations Manager Paul Carter, award reciprient Richard Musgrove and Mike Barlow.

Current Lifeboat Operations Manager Paul Carter, award reciprient Richard Musgrove and Mike Barlow. Pictures: MICK HOWES - Credit: Archant


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He was honoured to receive a Vellum Service Certificate for that rescue. Mr Brown, formerly an able bodied seaman on sea survival training vessel working on government contracts, said: 'I love the sea, it is in my blood. I joined the lifeboat to give a little bit back to the community. It was nice to help other people and as well as missing the team work I will also miss the excitement of the not knowing what was ahead when the pager sounded.'

Richard Musgrove, who was a port pilot in Lowestoft for 25 years, had been involved with the lifeboat station for all that time. He was one of a small team of people given the responsibility and authority to launch the lifeboat.

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He also served as the Lifeboat Operations Manager for the station. He recalls authorising the launch of the lifeboat to several significant rescues. Mr Musgrove said: 'One of the calls that stick in my mind was to a 10-metre recreational dive boat in trouble. Four people were trapped in the wheelhouse as the boat sunk at the stern but they managed to escape through the wheelhouse window. The lifeboat crew safely rescued all 11 people who had been on board from the water. It was an absolute brilliant rescue.'

Mr Musgrove added: 'One of my duties whilst I was the operations manager was to write the bid for the Shannon Class lifeboat. I like to think that the success of that bid helped to secure the future of the station.

'I shall miss the crew and support team. They have been a great bunch of people. I have been happy to support and help them to do their valuable work. Now working in Gt. Yarmouth, I have reluctantly decided to stand aside.'

Ian Firmin received his award recognising 40 years service with the RNLI from 1972 to 2015. He has seen service as a staff Coxswain at Scarborough, Humber (twice), Aldeburgh and Lowestoft.

He was also the trials coxswain on the prototype Shannon class lifeboat where all the equipment on board was thoroughly tested, some modified and retested.

Current Lifeboat Operation Manager Paul Carter said: 'Ian is a very modest man but he has made a significant contribution to the lifeboat service wherever he has been stationed and saved many lives in the process.

'All three will be missed'

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