RNLI given a big boost with new recruits

VOLUNTEERS A lifeboat crew in action and inset, Steve Gosling and Sharon Swan
VOLUNTEERS A lifeboat crew in action and inset, Steve Gosling and Sharon Swan
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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THEY are just ordinary people doing normal day jobs.

But they will be now be doing extraordinary work to help to save lives at sea.

Steve Gosling and Sharon Swan

Steve Gosling and Sharon Swan

Mum-of-two Sharon Swan, a bookkeeper, and dad-of-three Steve Gosling, who works for British Telecom, are just two of 12 new recruits for Hayling Island RNLI

The pair, both 40 and from Hayling, are now on a steep learning curve about systems and drills, but a recent highlight was a trip out on the station’s lifeboats.

The station, at Sandy Point, put out the call for new recruits last autumn, and islanders dutifully responded.

Mrs Swan had been thinking about volunteering when she saw a poster advertising the need for crew.

She said: ‘I wanted to put something back into the community and as the lifeboats were a major interest when I was a child, it’s great to now be involved in their work.

‘The best bit so far has been the trip on the lifeboats.

‘I was nervous but when the adrenaline kicked in and I was out there it was fab, but I found muscles I hadn’t used in a while!’

Mr Gosling has lived on Hayling for three years and was keen to get into boating, so last year bought a RIB.

Unfortunately Steve, who is a tae kwon do fighter, landed badly on his ankle and broke it, which put an end to using the boat last year.

He is now keen to learn about boat handling and sea safety, which he will then be able to pass on to his family.

He said: ‘I’ve enjoyed all of it so far, and I’m working with a great bunch of people.

‘Going out on the boat was great.’