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Newhaven Lifeboat crew recognized for bravery in paraglider rescue

Newhaven Lifeboat crew members Lewis Arnold and Chris Glasspool were recently awarded commendations for their part in saving the lives of two paragliders. The presentations were made by John Payne, RNLI’s Director of Lifesaving Operations, during a visit to the station by Jane King, the outgoing High Sheriff of East Sussex. A commendation was also accepted by Roger Cohen MBE, Lifesaving Operations Manager, on behalf of the whole station and Newhaven Lifeboat crew.

On 24 December 2021, Newhaven lifeboat was tasked to rescue two paragliders who had been cut off by the tide. Both men were exhausted and unable to self-assist. Newhaven’s Severn class lifeboat, the David and Elizabeth Acland, launched in difficult sea conditions. After assessing the wave sequence, Newhaven’s Y-boat daughter craft was launched from the all-weather lifeboat and skilfully manoeuvred between the rocks and gullies to gain access to the paragliders.

Credit: Newhaven Lifeboat

Phill Corsi, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager, said: “Lewis Arnold and Chris Glasspool demonstrated their dependable and courageous skills on that Christmas Eve. Their selfless actions saved the lives of two paragliders in the face of very challenging conditions.”

Roger Cohen MBE, said: “These commendations are testament to our volunteer lifeboat crew’s dedication and bravery. The whole lifeboat station thanks the outgoing High Sheriff for coming to Newhaven Lifeboat to recognise the determination and commitment demonstrated by Lewis Arnold and Chris Glasspool during this rescue.”

Credit: Newhaven Lifeboat

In his official commendation John Payne paid tribute to the crew: “On behalf of the RNLI, I would like to express my sincere thanks for your dedication and service to Newhaven Lifeboat Station. It was a challenging service and your determination and commitment to saving lives at sea is greatly appreciated. Undoubtedly your actions saved the lives of the casualties.”

Newhaven Lifeboat is proud of their work and has invited the community to show their support at their annual Summer Fair at the Fort Road Recreation Ground on Saturday 1 July from 11am-4pm.

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