Volunteer Ralf takes the helm for lifeboat management team

Simon Davidson, left, hands over his official chair’s car parking permit to incoming chair Ralf Pearson

Simon Davidson, left, hands over his official chair’s car parking permit to incoming chair Ralf Pearson - Credit: John Thorogood

Exmouth RNLI saw a new chair take the helm of its Lifeboat Management Group recently. 

In an appointment that was delayed by Covid-19, Ralf Pearson took on the role of chair of Exmouth RNLI Lifeboat Management Group this week, taking over from Simon Davidson who had completed his three year tenure in the voluntary position for the charity that saves lives at sea.

The Lifeboat Management Group meets regularly to discuss all matters relating to the RNLI locally in the town and comprises volunteers from Crew, Operations, Fundraising, Finance, Shop, Visits, Media, Sea Safety and Lifeguards.

On handing over this important responsibility to Ralf, Simon said: “My three years as chair has flown by so it is time for me to stand down. Covid meant that many of the fundraising activities that we had planned for last year, and now the current year, could not take place which was very disappointing for all concerned. I would like to thank everyone for everything that they do and I know that RNLI Exmouth will bounce back strongly. I am very pleased to be able to handover to Ralf as the new chair and with his marketing know how - this will help develop and maintain the high profile that the RNLI has in the local communities.”
Paying tribute to Simon’s hard work during his period as chair, Nigel Jones, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager said: “Simon was an incredibly welcome addition to the team taking on the chair role all that time ago, and I massively appreciated his input and the almost immediate positive impression he made with the team at Exmouth. The LMG has since gone from strength to strength under his guidance and wise counsel, and I know the team has relished his chairmanship. I would also thank Ralf for volunteering to take on this vital position and to wish him every success.”
Gemma Baker, RNLI Community Manager said: “I just want to thank Simon for all he has done for Exmouth RNLI over the last three years. The station, team and community engagement are in a fantastic position at the end of his time. We are looking forward to welcoming Ralf to the team and using his knowledge and passion to push Exmouth RNLI even further into the future.”
Andy Wright, RNLI Local Area Lifesaving Manager said: “I like to welcome Ralf as the LMG chair of Exmouth Lifeboat Station.  Ralf has a passion for the sea and for Exmouth in particular and will enjoy working with such a passionate station with such a committed and courageous crew, who are supported by volunteers who are working tirelessly in and for the station every day of the year.
“I look forward to working with Ralf in the future to continue the work the station does on our beautiful Jurassic Coast.  
“I’d also like to thank Simon for his leadership, commitment and passion for the LMG role at Exmouth and wish him all the very best for the future.” 
On taking on his new role, Ralf said: “I was inspired to join the team at Exmouth RNLI given my father's lifetime in the merchant navy and his unwavering support for the cause.  
“The phenomenal work that 130 volunteers at the Exmouth RNLI station do completely humbles me, from the frontline shop and tours teams, to fundraising, water safety and the operational crew, keeping our beaches safe, maintaining the boats, launching and going out to sea.  The time given and level of commitment demonstrated by this team to keeping all those who venture to the beautiful coastline at Exmouth safe, is truly amazing.
“As one of this 130 strong team, I look forward to being able to continue the great work that Simon has done, to grow Exmouth RNLI's status as an integral member of the Exmouth community, while continuing to ensure we fulfill our primary mission of saving lives at sea.”
This staycation summer looks like it will be an incredibly busy one for the team, as the UK ventures to Devon and Cornwall for the summer but it’s not just the lifeboat crew that will be busy.
The shop is open again for gifts and beach essentials, tours are available around the boathouse and lifeguards are back on duty on the beach.
Ralf added: “The annual Exmouth RNLI Open Day is on the cards for the 26th of August - make sure you mark the date in your diaries, meet the crew and come and have some fun.
“We’re going to update the space above the shop to create an engaging experience for visitors.
“We’ll look to improve the internal and external signage around the station to help visitors engage with the space.”
 

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