Family of man rescued by lifeboat present beacon to crew

Tim and Catherine Tookey present the beacon to the crew on the lifeboat
Tim and Catherine Tookey present the beacon to the crew on the lifeboat

A BEACON to help crew with search and rescue training has been presented to the crew at Shoreham Lifeboat Station.

The Tookey family – who are great supporters of the Shoreham lifeboat station – donated the equipment.

The beacon can be attached to the station’s training mannequin, which is then put overboard into the water.

The beacon gives out a signal, which the crew can use to detect its location. It aids training in search and rescue.

Richard Tookey was a 14-year-old boy when the crew of the Shoreham lifeboat rescued him and his family from a stricken yacht in 1948. Sixty-eight years later he and his family continue to support the station to say thank you.

Mr Tookey, who now lives in South Africa, was on board the yacht Gull in heavy seas and swell on 8 August, 1948.

Her sails became torn and she was three miles off Shoreham Harbour out of control.

The coastguard launched the Shoreham lifeboat, Rosa Woodd and Phylis Lunn, to go to the aid of the 14-ton yacht, which had three men, two women and a boy on board.

The lifeboat eventually caught up with her after 14 miles as she reached Newhaven.

The yacht made an attempt to enter the harbour, but the seas washed over her, leaving her wrecked and being driven ashore.

The lifeboat coxswain skilfully took her straight into the surf and went alongside while the crew rescued five of the six on board the yacht. The lifeboat went in a second time and rescued the last man left.

They were taken ashore at Newhaven.

Mr Tookey’s son and daughter, Catherine and Tim Tookey, visited the station on Sunday, January 10, and presented the equipment. They were then taken out on the all weather lifeboat and the crew demonstrated how the beacon worked.

Afterwards Catherine said: “It was a privilege to go out on the lifeboat and see the equipment our family has donated in action.

“My father always says without the bravery of the Shoreham lifeboat crew all the years ago, he would not be here today.

“We are delighted to support the station.”

Steve Smith, lifeboat coxswain, said: “We are really grateful to the Tookey family for their generous donation and their continued support. This piece of equipment will be very useful for us.”

For more information about the RNLI or how to fundraise or donate funds to to Shoreham Lifeboat, see the website at

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