A volunteer lifeboat helmsman from Staithes has been awarded the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s long service badge.
The RNLI’s award for 20 years’ service was presented to Lee Jackson (37) by Staithes and Runswick branch chairman Neil Anderson, who thanked Mr Jackson for his dedicated service to the station. Along with the badge, there was also a thank you letter from the RNLI’s chief executive, Paul Boissier.
Mr Jackson, who is now a master mariner and Tees Bay Pilot, said: “I became interested in going to sea at a young age, enjoying a bit of fishing and sailing. Being part of the lifeboat at Staithes seemed like another interesting and exciting way of getting to go to sea.”
Mr Jackson became involved with the Staithes lifeboat at the age of 13, helping out at the station with cleaning and fund-raising. Too young to join the RNLI, he took up a career with the merchant navy aged 16, but made sure that whenever he came home on leave he volunteered and trained at the lifeboat station.
“There is no doubt that my involvement with the RNLI set me on the right path for a successful career at sea,” he added. “I’ve remained a lifeboat volunteer because I still work at sea and also enjoy sea fishing from my own small boat and I know that if I’m ever in difficulty there will be an RNLI lifeboat not far away.”
Mr Jackson was also a member of the RNLI’s Flood Rescue Team and was deploted to Cockermouth, Cumbria in 2009 where over 200 people were helped to safety from flooding.