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Hemsby Inshore Rescue Service: Ashley Peddle

PUBLISHED: 14:38 07 November 2015 | UPDATED: 14:38 07 November 2015

Hemsby Lifeboat Crew member: Ashley Peddle.

Picture: James Bass

Hemsby Lifeboat Crew member: Ashley Peddle. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2015

As part of the Great Yarmouth 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 second coxswain Ashley Peddle.

Ashley, 31, has volunteered with Hemsby Inshore Rescue Service for four years, since he moved to Norfolk from Harlow in Essex, and in those four years he’s put in his fair share – and more – of hard work.

“I always used to spend the weekends and school holidays up here,” Ashley, who lives in Ormesby with his wife Katy, said.

“I loved my home but you can’t beat the pace of life up here, and when I moved here the lifeboat was a good way to meet people whilst doing my bit for the local community at the same time.”

Ashley’s role as second coxswain keeps him busy organising training and tracking the development of the crew.

He is also at the helm on the boat and helps Daniel Hurd, with anything he needs for the day-to-day running of the service.

“All of our call-outs stand out for different reasons,” he said.

“Some are long, some are short. Sometimes it’s too hot, sometimes it’s too cold.

“The good shouts are where you help people, although unfortunately with that you also sometimes lose them.

“My first shout was at sea on the inshore lifeboat looking for a vulnerable teenager who had gone missing. I was in charge of the radio, which went fine for the first five minutes, but after that I got a bit tongue-tied and got my words mixed up.

“He turned up safe and well in the end so was a happy ending.”

Day-to-day Ashley works at Hydramec Offshore Hydraulic Systems in Great Yarmouth as a project manager, before that he worked at Lotus Cars in Hethel.

But when he’s at the lifeboat the camaraderie is what he enjoys most.

He said: “Of course there are the odd issues like any work place, but if you need anyone, anything, anywhere, it doesn’t matter what day or time it is, one of the crew will be there to help. They are a selfless bunch, who give a large part of their free time to help others.”

Ashley is keen to continue upping the profile of Hemsby Inshore Rescue Service, highlighting three things that the public aren’t always aware of.

“Firstly, we have two lifeboats - one for the sea and another for the Norfolk Broads - people are usually confused as to why we have two boats, as they aren’t aware we cover the Broads.

“Secondly, we are an independent lifeboat, so not funded by the government and not part of the RNLI. We have to raise the funds for everything we own and buy.

“Lastly, although we only class pager activation by the coastguard as a “call-out” (of which we had over 20 last year) we actually do a lot more.

“For example so far this year in addition to call-outs, we have given first aid on seven occasions, put out three fires on the sand dunes, and have provided crowd and road control on eight separate occasions.

“We also hold our annual Lifeboat Day and Herring Festival which both bring thousands of people into Hemsby which will almost certainly be a boost for the local traders.”

• Anyone interested in finding out more about Hemsby Inshore Rescue Service, or if you want to get involved, get in contact by calling 01493 731641 or emailing contact@hemsbyinshorerescue.org.uk

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