Hemsby Inshore Rescue Service: James Taylor

PUBLISHED: 14:41 07 November 2015 | UPDATED: 14:41 07 November 2015

Hemsby Lifeboat Crew member : James Taylor.

Picture: James Bass

Hemsby Lifeboat Crew member : James Taylor. 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 helmsman James Taylor.

Having volunteered for the lifeboat for 16 years, James is one of the longest serving crew members, having seen lots of change over his time.

“So much has changed,” he said. “The beach has changed, the boats have changed and the technology has changed, but the focus of keeping people safe is still the same.”

James lived in Hemsby from childhood until six years ago, when he moved to Martham where he now lives with wife, Tasha and his sons Harry, 6, and Oscar, 3.

So his interest in protecting those who live in his hometown – as well as the surrounding areas – is deep rooted.

This passion extends into his career too, where James works as a medic for the East of England Ambulance Service responding to 999 calls.

“My day job is to help save lives,” said James, 33. “So extending that to the lifeboat to is just an added bonus really!

“I first got involved in the lifeboat so that I could help others in trouble and distress, and I enjoy doing it,” he added.

Recently, James was involved in a shout which took the crew to Thorpe Marshes Reserve, where two teenagers ultimately drowned.

“Obviously that wasn’t the nicest of jobs,” James said.

“But being involved in things like that and doing your best to help is important.”

This call out has become one of James’ most memorable, alongside a shout to Winterton last year, where a sailing boat had ran aground.

“It was quite rough that night, the water was shallow and even we were running aground at times,” he said.

“But we managed to get the casualties off the boat, got them back to our shed and got them fed and watered – Dan, the coxswain, actually got them some dinner from the local pub.

“That makes it all worth it.”

James enjoys having a good team to work with and taking part in the two big fundraising events held by the lifeboat every year; the lifeboat day and the herring festival.

“They are our two major events,” he added.

“Without them we’d struggle to get the £30,000 we’d need to operate every year.”

Looking to the future, the lifeboat will be able to react to any flooding incidents this year, having undertaken training to do so.

“It’s coming up to flooding time and we’re ready for this year,” said James.

• 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@

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