There's something fishy about baby boom

PUBLISHED: 09:08 16 January 2008 | UPDATED: 08:47 11 May 2010

SOME might say it is down to something in the water, others might think it is something in the air.

But last night the humble herring was being credited for a baby boom among a Norfolk lifeboat crew.

SOME might say it is down to something in the water, others might think it is something in the air.

But last night the humble herring was being credited for a baby boom among a Norfolk lifeboat crew.

In just a matter of months, five lifeboatmen at Caister's independent station, near Yarmouth, have become proud fathers.

Second coxswain Richard Thurlow and partner Maria Bell, both 25, were the first couple to celebrate a new arrival, with the birth of their daughter, Niamh, last June.

Now the fifth member of the crew, assistant coxswain Tomas Williams, 23, has joined the fatherhood club, with the birth of Charlie, born on Tuesday last week to his partner, Rebecca.

Mr Thurlow, who became a lifeboatman 10 years ago, said: “All the boys eat lots of herring and we are putting the population boom down to that - it must be the omega oil.

“Perhaps Niamh will follow me onto the boat; my dad, Dick, was coxswain, so it is a family tradition.”

Assistant coxswain Owen Nutt, 24, and partner Emma Turner, 27, welcomed their daughter, Grace, into the world on September 10.

“I came in here with a big grin on my face when I found out that Emma was pregnant, and Richard was really surprised when I told him the news,” said Mr Nutt, who is site manager at Scroby Sands windfarm.

Just days later, Sidney arrived in the world to mother Tracey Turner, 24, and father Andrew Hewitt, 32, a crew member for the last 12 years.

“Hopefully I will still be on the crew when Sidney is old enough to join - it would be wonderful if he followed in my footsteps,” said Mr Hewitt.

Casey Sheales was an early Christmas present for mother Nikki and father Steve on December 4.

A crew member for two years, Mr Sheales, 35, is getting used to his parental responsibilities, along with serving on the lifeboat and working as a supervisor at a flood defence company.

But the newest father on the crew, Mr Williams, had his own theory on the baby boom last night. “I couldn't believe it when I found out we were all having babies around the same time and thought there must be something in the Caister water,” he said.

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