April 17th, 2023.

Three Commendations from the RNLI’s Director of Lifesaving Operations have been awarded to individuals and the Newhaven Lifeboat Station team for their dedication and service, acknowledging specifically their efforts during a service last year.

Whilst on exercise, on he 6th of March last year, the David and Elizabeth Acland was tasked to a 25ft yacht that was unable to sail due to engine failure. After searching the last known location, the yacht was eventually spotted drifting in the overfalls near Beachy Head.

John Payne, Director of Lifesaving Operations, explaines: "This was a challenging service and the team determination and commitment to saving lives at sea is greatly appreciated."

Newhaven’s all-weather lifeboat was skilfully manoeuvred alongside the yacht in difficult conditions by Lewis Arnold, Coxswain. Lifeboat crew member, Billy Hipperson, was transferred across to assist. A tow was established and the vessel successfully recovered.

Director’s Commendations were presented by Phill Corsi, Area Lifesaving Manager, at the Newhaven Lifeboat Station. Individual Director’s Commendations were awarded to Lewis Arnold and Billy Hipperson. Roger Cohen MBE, Lifeboat Operations Manager, received the Commendation on behalf of the entire Newhaven Lifeboat Station team.

Phill Corsi, Area Lifesaving Manager, said: "In the face of challenging sea conditions, Lewis Arnold displayed exemplary boat handling skills. Billy Hipperson demonstrated determination and fortitude in boarding the casualty vessel and then rendering assistance and reassurance to the skipper, until the lifeboat could get them to a place of safety.

"The volunteer crew of Newhaven Lifeboat worked as a cohesive team to prevent this situation deteriorating further. I congratulate and thank them. Well Done."

Pictured above: RNLI/Newhaven Lewis Arnold (Coxswain), Phill Corsi (Area Lifesaving Manager), Roger Cohen MBE (Lifeboat Operations Manager), Billy Hipperson (Newhaven Volunteer Crew). Image: RLNI Newhaven.
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