A lifeboatMAN called ‘Myrtle’ leaves Lyme crew

Martin Croad who has moved to Seaton with his family. Picture: RICHARD HOROBIN

Martin Croad who has moved to Seaton with his family. Picture: RICHARD HOROBIN - Credit: Archant

Dedicated member of the RNLI team steps down aftre moving to Seaton

A lifeboat crewman known to everyone as Myrtle has left the volunteer team in Lyme Regis after serving for 15 years.

Real name Martin Croad, he was at the helm of the lifeboat for five years.

Aged, 37, he and wife Kerry and children Bradley, 3three , and Phoebe, seven, recently moved to Seaton which meant he had to leave the lifeboat crew.

Martin said: “I leave with mixed feelings. They are a great bunch at the lifeboat station, a terrific team who all pull together when it really matters.

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“No two shouts are ever exactly the same, and it’s going to feel very strange not putting my pager on my belt in the morning and keeping it close by all through the night.

“My family have been fantastic. I have left food on the table when my pager sounded the alarm, and I even left clothes at the launderette on one occasion.”

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Martin joined the crew after going through a traumatic experience. He was aboard a fishing boat whose crew found a body. Afterwards he found difficulty in going back to sea, But after encouragement from friends at the lifeboat station he applied to join the RNLI crew.

In 2007 he broke his wrist rescuing a man from the sea. The RNLI wrote a letter of thanks for ‘answering an emergency well above the call of duty.’

Martin was also a member of the Lyme Regis RNLI flood rescue team.

And that nickname?

“There was a local radio station that featured an old lady called Myrtle Haybaler. Members of the crew heard her. I had a farming background and somehow the name of Myrtle just stuck. If anyone calls me Martin I know I am in trouble,” said Martin…er Myrtle.

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