Brian’s 40-year stint with RNLI

Brian Porter (right) at the helm of the Lincolnshire Poacher lifeboat during our training exercise last week with coxswain Ray Chapman
Brian Porter (right) at the helm of the Lincolnshire Poacher lifeboat during our training exercise last week with coxswain Ray Chapman
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Forty years of rescuing people from the sea, reuniting children with parents - and responding to bizarre calls of kitchen appliances in distress.

‘It’s all part of the job’ says Brian Porter , Skegness RNLI’s longest-serving member.

He has just reached the milestone of a staggering 40 years’ voluntary service with the lifeboat, having started aged just 18.

“It’s something I thoroughly enjoy,” said Brian, 58.

“I think the best thing I have got out of the job is actually saving lives. When you go out on the inshore lifeboat and pick up a child in a dinghy and then hand the child back to its parents, it’s such a great feeling.

“We had a real problem with dinghies a few years ago - but now we have lifeguards on the beach and things seems to have settled down a bit.”

Along with the call-outs where human life is at stake, Brian says he has been involved in a number of pet rescues as the beach is a popular spot for dog walkers.

He explained: “If a dog goes in the sea, chances are the owner’s going to go in after it and we will end up having to rescue them as well.

“Not long after I started, the crew were called to rescue a bull after it had run through the town and ended up in the sea.”

Along with humans and animals, Brian has raced to the ‘rescue’ of some strange objects – with people literally mistaking ‘buoys’ for boys.

“We’ve had a few call-outs to what just turned out to be marker buoys or buoys marking fishing pots,” he said.

“One time we were called out to what turned out to be a fridge freezer in the water, which someone thought was the upturned hull of a boat.”

Being on a retained lifeboat crew means Brian has had to live close to the Skegness station for all his 40 years service.

Having had his own window cleaning firm for a number of years, he now works as a cleaner at the Hildreds Centre.

He added: “It can be very disruptive to family life to suddenly have to drop everything and rush off. So people need to bare that in mind, but I would recommend volunteering to anyone.”

His fellow crew mates put on a buffet of food to celebrate his milestone last week.