Top RNLI crew retire at Newhaven

An era has ended at Newhaven lifeboat station now that Coxswain Mike Beach, assistant mechanic Brian Ashdown and crew member Chris Bird retired with a combined total of more than 50 years of life boat service.

Mike Beach joined the lifeboat crew in June 1975 and was appointed coxswain in March 1998, and together with the other retirees he took part in many rescues including standing by the Dutch schooner Eendracht which ran aground on Newhaven beach in very heavy seas in 1998.

Amongst the three men’s treasured memories will be the occasion when they were called out on service while on their way to a fancy dress party dressed as punk rockers and didn’t have time to change – ‘the people we were rescuing couldn’t believe their eyes’ said Beach.