Happisburgh lifeboat stalwart Cubitt honoured at annual awards
PUBLISHED: 16:04 07 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:18 07 March 2017
Bravery and selflessness were celebrated as a Norfolk lifeboat station reflected on another memorable year.
The dedication of Happisburgh RNLI volunteers came to the fore again during 2016 - and was recognised at the station’s annual awards and dinner dance on Saturday.
It was a special night for crew veteran Cubitt Siely who received the Kelvin Baker Achievement Award.
The former senior helmsman steered his last boat home to shore in November.
During his 38 years of service with Happisburgh Lifeboat, there have been 251 launches and some 40 lives have been saved by Mr Siely and his fellow crew.
He joined the crew in 1979, when Happisburgh Lifeboat only operated from Easter to October in daylight hours and was appointed senior helmsman in 1994.
Mr Siely was one of 19 people from across the UK and Ireland representing the RNLI in the official Remembrance Sunday commemoration at The Cenotaph in London.
Although sad to finish, Mr Siely’s daughter Charlotte and son, also Cubitt, are following in their father’s sea boots.
Charlotte, has just passed out as helm of the Atlantic lifeboat and she was joined by her brother in November, as soon as he turned 17.
Cubitt junior is now working towards becoming a helm of the D Class lifeboat.
The crew was called into action 11 times in 2016, in response to emergencies ranging from a drowning to a wrecked yacht.
The Service Award for Memorable Service was awarded for the crew’s part in the attempted rescue of Leszek Puchala off Sea Palling beach in July.
Mr Puchala, who could not be revived after being pulled unconscious from the waves, had been caught in a rip tide with his son whose life was saved.
A further 20 safety interventions were carried out as part of the RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign to reduce the number of deaths from drowning.
This year will see the arrival of two new boats at Happisburgh, a new Atlantic 85 named Howard Bell B-899, which will mean lots of training for helms and crew. Then a new D-Class lifeboat, Russell Pickering D-813, will arrive later in the summer.