Long service presentation for Ray McDermott

Thursday 16 November 2006

Author: Ben Hardaker

Long service presentation for Ray McDermott

He served 16 years and one month as a volunteer for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and last week Ray McDermott returned to the Skegness Lifeboat Station to receive his long service certificate from Divisional Inspector Andrew Ashton.


Ray joined the station when the Skegness boat was the Charles Fred Grantham and served under two coxswains as shore helper and crewmember during which time the lifeboat saved 161 lives. Later he was a crewmember on the present boat The Lincolnshire Poacher and one rescue that sticks in his mind is the rescue of the yacht Sea Fever in 1998.


On the evening of April 11th the lifeboat launched in high winds, heavy seas and wintery conditions to help the yacht’s crew in the North Sea east of Skegness. The yacht’s steering was jammed and the craft was yawing violently in 15ft seas and a force eight gale.


Coxswain Paul Martin and his crew took the yacht in tow up to Grimsby, a task that took 5 ˝ hours in the atrocious conditions and it wasn’t until 5am the next day that the crew returned to the station in Skegness. The shout had lasted almost 9 ˝ hours and was one that Ray will always remember.


He has left the RNLI now and works at Pilgrim Hospital and so can’t offer his services as crewmember any more. Ray McDermott is pictured (on the left) on the Lincolnshire Poacher at Skegness with the Divisional Inspector Andrew Ashton as he received the framed certificate from RNLI HQ.


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