Former Lyme lifeboatman dies

Tributes paid to John ‘Mac’ Sewell who gave 43 years dedicated service to the RNLI

TRIBUTES have been paid to an award winning former Lyme Regis lifeboatman who died this week.

John (Mac) Sewell, who was 90, joined the crew in 1967 and later served as a shore member from 1971 until 1991.

His final role as Boathouse Superintendent – opening up and closing the lifeboat station every day of the week – lasted until earlier this year, bringing his volunteer RNLI service to a total of 43 years.

Two years ago, on his 89th birthday, he was presented with the RNLI’s vellum certificate of service sat a ceremony in the Cobb Arms.

The certificate – presented by long serving crew member Andrew Rice- recorded that during Mac’s service the lifeboat rescued no fewer than 281 people.

Mac said at the time: ”The award was a lovely surprise on my birthday. It is so nice to be remembered by all my lifeboat friends.”

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Paying tribute to him this week, Jon Broome, a long-serving lifeboat crew member in Lyme Regis, said : “Mac was the sort of crew member who was simply always there. He was quiet, unassuming and thoroughly reliable.

“When he was no longer a full crew member he still wanted to be involved.

“He never wanted a pat on the back and was just glad to be part of the operation. Mac was just one of those gems who come along now and then and upon whom a volunteer operation likes ours relies.

“When he became boathouse custodian he turned up every morning and every evening 365 days a year to open and shut the big doors, usually accompanied by his pet poodle.”