Former Lyme lifeboat chief is honoured

Surpirse party leaves RNLI stalwart all at sea

FORMER Lyme Regis lifeboat manager Rob Fossett found himself all at sea when he became the “victim” of one of the town’s best kept secrets.

All week long crew members, their families, and friends had been wishing him a happy retirement after 30 years as a volunteer with RNLI charity.

And on Saturday night his partner Sue took him out for a “quiet drink” at the town’s sailing club - only to be met by around 70 well-wishers and a presentation ceremony.

“Gobsmacked” was his response.

Mr Fossett retired as Lifeboat Operations Manager on December 1 - his 59th birthday. He served 25 years with the RNLI on the Essex coast followed by five years in Lyme Regis.

The RNLI’s Divisional Inspector for the south-west, Adrian Carey, presented him with a Certificate of Service after describing him as “a great administrator, a great life saver and a very accomplished lifeboatman”.

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Mr Carey also presented training co-ordinator at the Lyme Regis station, Jon Broome, with his 20 year long service medal.

Mr Broome then presented Mr Fossett with a gift from the crew, a painting by the late Matt Lethbridge, an RNLI lifeboatman from St Mary’s in the Isles of Scilly who was much-admired by Rob.

Matt spent almost 40 years as a lifeboatman and carried out many major rescues.