By Peter Barker of Margate RNLI
Margate RNLI lifeboat station has marked International Women’s Day by turning the spotlight on eight women volunteers, part of both the operational lifeboat crew and the support team working behind the scenes helping keep the charity afloat.
Women have been part of the make-up of the lifeboat community nationally since the charity was founded. As an example from previous years, the Margate Ladies Lifeboat Guild was a stalwart group of women raising funds for the station’s lifesaving work. And of course the unseen heroes have long been the women family members who support their partners on our crew and await their return when the pagers sound the call to duty.
Women are now also very much part of the operational crew at Margate, a role that was historically a male preserve. At Margate we have four volunteer women crew members. Lucy Malin is an orthopaedic surgeon at QEQM Hospital Margate and a member of the B class and D class lifeboat crew. Also a seagoing crew member on both lifeboats is Casey Buckenham who is a childcare assistant in her day job. Next is retail industry worker Alicia Williams, one of the all-important shore crew and part of the team without who the lifeboats go nowhere! Finally, Linda Cox is a B class crew member and currently on a B class helm development plan and a paramedic practitioner in her day job.
Among the women who actively support the seagoing crew, also photographed here are: Sarah Hewes, Thanet RNLI Fundraising Group Lead along with Christine Patrick and Kath Medway who manage the souvenir shop at the boathouse and Anne-Marie Orchard one of the retail team.
Derek Amas, Lifeboat Operations Manager, Margate RNLI said: “Women have been a part of the station’s fabric for generations including those who support their husbands, partners, sons, daughters and other family members who crew our lifeboats. We welcome their involvement and thank these women together with the backstage team for their time and commitment to the cause of saving lives at sea.”