Margate’s volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew have marked the retirement of their Lifeboat Chaplain, Revd Brian Sharp.
Revd Sharp’s connection with Margate Lifeboat Station dates back to 1996 when he conducted the funeral service for one of the station’s former coxswains, Alf Manning.
He continued his support, including officiating at lifeboat naming ceremonies, before taking on the role of Lifeboat Chaplain in 2011, a position that included being issued with a pager whereby he could be present to provide support for the crew including during call-outs.
Whether in the middle of a winter’s night or a sunny summer’s day Brian was on hand, wearing his regulatory PPE on the beach. Occasionally, call-outs do not have a happy ending and Brian would provide the appropriate words on behalf of those the sea had decided to keep and he would offer support for the crew.
His pastoral duties included ensuring the crew room biscuit tin was well-stocked for the Sunday morning training exercises! Brian has expressed his wish to maintain contact with the station, including at naming ceremonies.
After 11 years in the post Brian retired in 2022 and yesterday (March 12) Lifeboat Operations Manager, Derek Amas presented Brian with a Certificate of Service, signed by RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie.
Derek Amas, Lifeboat Operations Manager said: “Brian provided an invaluable service supporting the work of the station. His commitment along with a down to earth and pragmatic approach to what can on occasion be stressful situations played an important part in ensuring we deliver the service our customers and supporters expect.
“We thank Brian for that commitment and look forward to his continuing association with the station.”