New helm for Hayling Island Lifeboat Station

Sharon Swan has become the new D-Class Helm at Hayling RNLI Lifeboat Station.

Joining the crew in 2012, Sharon became fully qualified after three years and was encouraged to train as a helm. Twelve months ago, she started the rigorous training for the position, which is responsible for the inshore lifeboat during all stages of a rescue as well as the safety of the crew onboard.

Gaining practical experience in leadership and management onboard took time, with Sharon finding it difficult to fit in the study required both ashore and afloat around her other commitments. Following her assessment Sharon, who has lived on Hayling Island all her life, said: “I’m relieved and now the real learning begins but I feel proud. It’s been worth putting in the effort and I’ve had lots of encouragement both from the crew and from my family.”

“Sharon showed great leadership and command throughout the test and will be an excellent helm for the station,” says Nathan Jauns, Area Lifesaving Manager, who carried out the assessment.

Andy Ferguson, Senior Helm who encouraged Sharon to join the crew back in 2012 says: “Sharon is a person who always goes the extra mile and is a totally reliable skilled crew member. She is a vital member of the team whose commitment is outstanding, and she will be an excellent helm.”

Sharon will head the station’s D-Class lifeboat, Jacob. During her time at the lifeboat station she has been involved in many rescues at the station, which responds to between 75 and 85 incidents a year. Sharon is especially valuable as a helm as she is available during the working week.

Photo Credit: RNLI / Alan Bartlett

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