In an emergency call 999 and ask for the Coastguard Whitstable@rnli.org.uk

A Whitstable Lifeboat Crewmember has been awarded with a 20-year service badge to mark his two decades with the station.

Stuart Enderby was presented with his award by Vice-Admiral Sir Tim Lawrence, Chairman of the RNLI’s Operations Committee during their visit to the station on Tuesday.

Said Stuart ‘I joined the station in 1989 after an appeal for volunteer crewmembers in the local paper having just moved to Whitstable after spending five years as a beach lifeguard with SERCO in Thanet.

‘Having just got married I also wanted to get back into life saving and joined the station as a launcher with the shore crew and then after 18-months progressed too the sea going crew’.

He remembers his first call ‘this was rather uneventful but involved a small inflatable boat with engine failure in The Swale near to the Kingsferry Bridge which we towed back to Sheerness’.

‘Over the 20-years I have on average ,been on 15-20 calls per year to a variety of incidents involving small vessels and persons in difficulty, often responding to the call in the middle of family events such as lunch, dinner or other occasions but fortunately my wife Anthea and four children, Mark, James, Alex and Jade now aged from 26-16 have, over the years accepted that this goes with the role of being a member of a lifeboat crew”.

Stuart has also been involved with the educational side of the stations activities, helping with school visits and showing people around the lifeboat house and explaining the work of the RNLI.

‘I have seen a lot of changes at the station over the years especially in relation to equipment and training and have served aboard the last three lifeboats to be based at Whit stable and I look forward to being able to continue my service with the lifeboat for as long as possible’.