John Irving retires from Skegness Royal National Lifeboat Institution after 28 years
A DEDICATED member of the Skegness Royal National Lifeboat Institution has retired after 28 years service.
John Irving, the coxswain/mechanic of Skegness lifeboat took the Lincolnshire Poacher to sea for the final time on Sunday.
John joined the Skegness station as a shore helper in February 1985, before becoming a volunteer crew member on both the town's inshore and all-weather lifeboats.
He has spent the last 13 years working for the charity, ensuring the lifeboat was ready to go to sea at any time of day and in any conditions.
He served on the Charles Fred Grantham before the arrival of the Lincolnshire Poacher, and his promotion to Second Coxswain, in 1990.
In December 1999 John took the position of coxswain/mechanic following the retirement of Paul Martin and has earned several commendations for his leadership, boat handling and seamanship over the years.
In December 2011, John received a letter of thanks from the RNLI's Operations Director for saving the lives of three people aboard the MV Sarah during, "a long and arduous service in very cold conditions".
John said: "I will miss the adrenaline rush when the pager goes off and the sense of pride that comes after a shout. It's a great team at Skegness, I will miss them all, but I know they will continue in the best traditions of the RNLI.'
Despite his departure from the Skegness lifeboat, John is not retiring from the RNLI as he is set to take up the position of Second Coxswain at Humber lifeboat station later this week.
The role of Coxswain in Skegness has now been handed over to Ray Chapman – the RNLI's longest-serving volunteer with 42 years' service at Skegness lifeboat station. The full-time position of mechanic has been filled by Mark Holley who, after 15 years as a volunteer, takes over the day-to-day running of the station and maintenance of the lifeboats.