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Hemsby Inshore Rescue Service: Alan Jones

PUBLISHED: 14:43 07 November 2015 | UPDATED: 14:44 07 November 2015

Hemsby Lifeboat Crew member : Alan Jones.

Picture: James Bass

Hemsby Lifeboat Crew member : Alan Jones. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2015

As part of the Mercury campaign to help Hemsby Inshore Rescue Service raise the money it needs to keep saving lives offshore and on the Broads, we will be getting to know the crew, who are all volunteers, who keep the service running not just out on the water but behind the scenes too.

This week, we spoke to crew member Alan Jones.

Having been involved in community life wherever he has lived, Alan - who moved to Scratby in 2011 - soon found he was spending lots of time volunteering for the Save Hemsby Coastine campaign, and this is where he got involved with the lifeboat too.

“I was helping out the coastline campaign on the beach, and some of the crew from the lifeboat were helping too. We got to chatting and I said I would love to be part of something like that and make a difference.

“Here I am a year later; I’ve always been willing to give something back.”

Alan, 42, was soon making waves in the crew, and now after a short year is starting his training to become a helmsman.

“It’s not until you get out on a job until you realise how much you have learnt through the great training from the team down at the shed and it all falls into place,” he said.

Alan was involved in the recent call to Thorpe Marshes Reserve, where two teenagers sadly drowned. But it was in this extreme situation that the training he had received really came into its own.

“That job unfortunately didn’t have a happy ending, we can’t save everyone,” he said. “But being there and being part of it makes you realise that we really have a great crew that all pull together and look out for each other in the good times, but also in the bad like this shout, and you know there is always going to be a cup of tea and a pat on the back waiting for you when you return.”

Even when the jobs are tough, Alan said he enjoys volunteering for the lifeboat.

“The great crew and togetherness that we have is the best bit,” he said.

“We are all so different and from different walks of life, but we all bring so much to the table and pull together when we need to.

“Plus, we work so hard volunteering so many hours and cover so many different scenarios, risking our lives to save others.”

It’s because of this great team and the work they do that Alan thinks the public should support the service.

“We just need a little help to raise the money to get the new boat and tracked vehicle to keep us safe when we are launching and when we are out on the rough seas trying to save others.

“If the public can pull together and help us raise the money it will keep the service going in the right direction, striving to achieve a faster and safer response to every single person who is lucky enough to visit Norfolk and our amazing coast and Broads.”

A testament to just how hard the crew work is shown by how Alan dedicates his time.

“At the moment I give my family time on a Tuesday evening,” he said, referring to his wife, Victoria, and one-year-old son Charlie.

“But then on a Wednesday evening, Saturday evening and Sunday morning, we’re fundraising and training. That’s not to mention the call outs which come in thick and fast at this time of the year.

“I would love for people to come and have a cuppa and see what we do,” Alan added.

“We buy all of our own uniform and we’re always looking out for a company who might be willing to sponsor us, and maybe provide us all with some quality new kit. “There must be a company out there that would love to be part of helping us with what we so desperately need.”

• To find out more about Hemsby Inshore Rescue Service, or to put yourself forward as a volunteer, get in contact by calling 01493 731641 or emailing contact@ hemsbyinshorerescue.org.uk

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