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Coastwatch volunteers get royal seal of approval as others brave sea for charity

PUBLISHED: 12:21 03 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:47 03 April 2018

Linda Lawrence, station manager at Caister, meets the Princess Royal.
Picture: NCI

Linda Lawrence, station manager at Caister, meets the Princess Royal. Picture: NCI

Archant

Members of a coastal watch volunteer group based at Caister have received a double boost in the form of a royal seal of approval and funds pouring in from a charity dip.

Steve Atkins, deputy station manager and third from lef,t meets the Princess Royal.
Picture: NCISteve Atkins, deputy station manager and third from lef,t meets the Princess Royal. Picture: NCI

The Princess Royal has visited National Coastwatch Institution Station at Skegness on her first official visit in her capacity as royal patron of the organisation.

At the event she meet watchkeepers at Caister and presented them with long service awards.

Linda Lawrence, station manager at Caister, and Steve Atkins, deputy station manager, were said to be very proud to receive their five and ten year awards respectively.

A spokesman for the station said: “Her Royal Highness spoke informally to the attendees before presenting the awards.

Watchkeepers James Ryder-Jones, who dressed up as Chicken Run Chuck, and Micky Parker took part in a charity dip by the station. They were joined by station supporter Tracey Chapman.
Picture: NCIWatchkeepers James Ryder-Jones, who dressed up as Chicken Run Chuck, and Micky Parker took part in a charity dip by the station. They were joined by station supporter Tracey Chapman. Picture: NCI

“She praised the virtues of NCI and the job we do, a truly memorable day.”

Then on April Fool’s Day, watchkeepers James Ryder-Jones, who dressed up as Chicken Run Chuck, and Micky Parker, who resembled a Baywatch lifeguard, took part in a charity dip by the station.

They were joined by station supporter Tracey Chapman of Lidl and about 60 people watched them take to the North Sea for about five minutes.

It is hoped £300 will be raised from the dip. The money raised will go towards buying new equipment for the look out station which is above the heritage centre by Caister Lifeboat Station.

The station spokesman added: “Coastwatch at Caister enjoyed an amazingly morning as their watchkeepers and the lovely Tracey braved a dip in the cold North Sea for a sponsored swim, this had been postponed from New Year’s Day. “A huge thank you to you all for raising funds for us and to the people of Caister who came along to support us.”

The station also thanked Ikon Medical Services for providing medical cover at the event, which also saw the Caister Coastwatch Shanty Singers perform.

The charity swim had been postponed on New Year’s Day following the disappearance of Gorleston student Sophie Smith, who was last seen on Boxing Day.

The National Coastwatch Institution is a voluntary organisation set up in 1994 to restore a visual watch along UK shores after many small Coastguard stations closed.

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