THE legacy of one of the town’s late lifeboat stalwarts is now helping to keep the charity’s current volunteers safe.
Peter Cheney died last year. However, for almost half a century he had been a leading light with Littlehampton’s lifeboat station, having been its manager for 25 years and station chairman right up until his death. He was also a key figure in getting the facility built.
Now, donations made in his memory, following his death, have helped to buy new personal locator beacons for the crews.
The beacons act as a final safety lifeline for volunteers who may fall overboard or become separated from their lifeboats.
Stranded crew members can activate the devices, which alerts the coastguard and pinpoints the volunteer’s exact position in the water.
Nick White, Littlehampton RNLI’s lifeboat operations manager, said the donations offered an essential safety net to crews.
“The volunteer crew of Littlehampton RNLI lifeboat are grateful to Mrs Cheney’s family, friends and many others for the kind donations they have made in her husband’s memory,” he said. “The personal locator beacons will greatly enhance the personal safety of the crew, who put their lives at risk to save others.”
A short dedication service was attended by lifeboat crew and station volunteers, as well as Mr Cheney’s wife, Susan, who formally presented the beacons following a blessing by the Rev David Farrant.
The lifeboat station was opened in 1967.