October 30th, 2023.

Newhaven Lifeboat's Second Coxswain Lee Blacknell has been presented with his twenty year long-service medal having achieved the impressive RNLI volunteering milestone earlier this summer.

Praise and appreciation expressed to Lee by his fellow crew members has underlined the importance of what it means to volunteer with the RNLI for such a significant length of time.

Phill Corsi, Area Lifesaving Manager, said: "Lee signed up to serve the lifeboat with a keen desire to help those in need on the water. Through his commitment to the role, in training and on service, Lee has gained enormous experience. He shares this with exceptional humility and generosity to the benefit of all the Newhaven team."

During Lee’s twenty years of service, he has launched on more than 415 shouts, the last twelve years in the role of Second Coxswain. 

Lee Blacknell, said: "To be on a shout, in the middle of winter, in a howling gale and driving sleet, searching for a man overboard. When crew are seasick, wet and cold. And yet, after twelve hours of searching, our volunteers still want to stay out and find that person. It’s a powerful need to do the best you can."

With exercise and service launches combined, Lee has amassed more than 2,270 hours of experience afloat.

Roger Cohen MBE, Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: "This is a commendable milestone in our station’s history. Thank you Lee for your commitment and assisting the team in our endeavours to save lives at sea."

Image credit - RNLI
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