Local man realises his dream to become a lifeboat helmsman

Joseph Brown SUS-190307-115801001
Joseph Brown SUS-190307-115801001

Jospeh Brown is celebrating after passing tough exams and practical tests to qualify as helm on the Rye Harbour Lifeboat

Joseph has lived in Rye Harbour all his life and joined the Royal Navy in 2008.

Earlier this year he was promoted to Leading Seaman, a role that comes with many responsibilities. His father, Steve Brown, senior launcher and recently-qualified tractor driver, has been involved with the RNLI for over thirty years and his mother has volunteered for over forty years.

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Fellow-helm Tim Dickinson said: “Joseph joined the crew just over ten years ago. He fitted in from the beginning and showed great enthusiasm for training and keenness to learn. He’s a valued member of the team who always shows professionalism and has a lively sense of humour. His Navy background has given him a wealth of maritime knowledge and experience, which is very beneficial for us at the station. Now we are lucky to have him as a qualified helm and know that he is calm in a crisis and a true team player. Congratulations, Joseph.’

It takes hundreds of hours of committed training and practice to reach the exacting standards needed to become a fully-qualified helm. It also requires a whole team of shore crew and sea-going crew behind you so that the boat can actually launch. Members of the RNLI Rye Harbour station are proud of his well-earned achievement.

At the end of a successful examination on land and sea by Carl Beardmore, RNLI Assessor and Trainer Manager (Marine) for England, Carl said: “During the assessment Joseph was required to demonstrate his knowledge of the role of a Helm, complete a written test on International Regulations for preventing Collisions at Sea, requiring a pass rate of a minimum of 90% and a scenario exercise afloat where his knowledge and skills in command and management were tested. I am delighted to say that Joseph achieved a very good level throughout and I was more than happy to say he has achieved the required level to be an Atlantic 85 helm at Rye Harbour lifeboat station. I know Joseph will be a huge asset to this team, the station and the wider community.’

Joseph said: “The process of getting to the stage where I was ready to pass out has taken seven years of learning, training and gaining experience. Everyone at the station played a part in my journey and I thank them for all their loyal support. To pass out felt amazing and it was one of the hardest things I have had to do in the RNLI and in my normal job in the Royal Navy. It had been a goal of mine to become helm in the RNLI and I have succeeded. I could not be happier.”

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