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No time for Phil to chill: New helm at Brighton RNLI answers two callouts

The volunteer crew at Brighton RNLI faced an eventful evening on Thursday, April 20, with two call outs in just two hours. Phil Jones, the newly qualified helm, had only passed his qualification on Monday, April 17, before being put to the test during the back-to-back emergencies.

The first call out for Brighton’s Atlantic 85 B-class lifeboat Random Harvest came at 6:50 pm after the Coastguard received reports of a person in difficulty, possibly paddleboarding or windsurfing, between the Marina and Palace Pier. Despite a thorough search by the crew, no one was found in the area.

At 8:50 pm, Sussex Police requested assistance for a person seen entering the water. Phil Jones, a heating engineer, had just returned home from the first call out when his pager went off again. “I think I’m going to get a name for myself now we’ve had two call outs so close to one another – no one will want to be on the rota with me!” he joked.

Deputy Launch Authority David Wheeler praised Phil for his dedication and calm demeanor during the two call outs, coming just four days after qualifying as helm. “As always, the crew really pulled together on both shouts and gave Phil the support he needed,” said Wheeler.

Jones, an Ovingdean resident, has been volunteering with the RNLI for 13 years, with 11 years spent at Hastings as a D-class helm and off-shore coxswain mechanic, and two years at Brighton.

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