News that Jason Hughes had become a qualified helm of Cowes RNLI lifeboat was greeted with a resounding cheer at the station’s crew night.

The final hurdle in his elevation from ordinary crew member to lifeboat commander was a thorough day and night-time examination on the Solent, lasting over 2 hours, aboard the station’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat with the experienced eye of RNLI assessor Tom Pedersen.

Jason, who lives at Gurnard, has been with Cowes lifeboat for over 4 years. As well as being a commercial property developer, he also is something of a recreational sailor. He has an RYA Yachtmaster Offshore qualification, has raced across oceans, and owns a 36ft motor-cruiser.

Article continues below this advertisment

With Jason’s successful assessment, the Cowes Lifeboat now has 5 volunteer helms on the books, hopefully ensuring that at least one of them will be able to respond to a pager alert. The RNLI stipulates no lifeboat should be launched without a qualified helm amongst the crew.

Station Operations Manager, Mark Southwell, says:

“The more helms we have the more we are able to offer a 24 hour cover and still allow committed volunteers time for themselves and their families.”

Comment on this story...

The views and opinions expressed by individuals in the comments section above do not represent those of Island Echo, it's employees or advertisers.