Hastings lifeboat crew recognised for ‘incredibly brave’ rescue during Storm Ciara

The crew who launched on Sunday - Mark Tewkesbury, Mike Eustace, Ashley White, Billy Sutton, Andy Doe and Tim Walsh, and HBC councillors, including council leader Peter Chowney and mayor Nigel Sinden.
The crew who launched on Sunday - Mark Tewkesbury, Mike Eustace, Ashley White, Billy Sutton, Andy Doe and Tim Walsh, and HBC councillors, including council leader Peter Chowney and mayor Nigel Sinden.

The Hastings lifeboat crew that rushed to the aid of a missing surfer during Storm Ciara was given a standing ovation by councillors, officers and members of the public during a Hastings Borough Council meeting.

The RNLB Richard and Caroline Colton crew was publicly thanked by council leader Peter Chowney for their bravery when they launched in heavy winds and huge waves on Sunday (February 9).

A video of the lifeboat almost capsizing during the storm went viral on social media.

The surfer was later located on the beach near Rye Bay before he was airlifted to hospital.

At Wednesday’s (February 12) full council meeting, councillor Chowney said: “It is only right that we recognise the incredible bravery of the crew. I listened as Coxswain Mark Tewkesbury gave a most dignified interview on World at One, refusing to comment on the surfboarder, making the point that their job is to go out and rescue anyone in trouble at sea.

“But the public do need to think about the consequences of their actions, as they do put the lives of the rescuers at risk.

“I would like to pay tribute to the crew, all volunteers, for their tremendous bravery on Sunday.”