Shoreham RNLI lifeboat crew member wins international Women in Search and Rescue award

Isobel Tugwell with Mark Dowie , RNLI Chief Executive, and her parents Michelle and Simon Tugwell
Isobel Tugwell with Mark Dowie , RNLI Chief Executive, and her parents Michelle and Simon Tugwell

One of the Shoreham RNLI’s youngest crew members had her achievements honoured when she won the Women in Search and Rescue Award on Tuesday.

Isobel Tugwell, who joined the RNLI crew on her 17th birthday having just started studying for her A-Levels, received her award at a ceremony hosted by the International Maritime Rescue Federation in London.

Isobel Tugwell joined the crew when she was 17

Isobel Tugwell joined the crew when she was 17

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The 19-year-old said: “Receiving this award has come as a real shock to me.

“The other women nominated in the category have achieved so much in their careers and I’m very aware that I’m just starting out on mine.

“I’ve been very fortunate to belong to a lifeboat crew that has welcomed and supported me, and encouraged my development.

“This award makes me all the more determined to do my very best to rescue those in trouble on the water.

“I’d recommend joining a lifeboat crew to any woman out there who is thinking about it. It challenges you in so many ways but the feeling of being able to help save a life is amazing.”

Isobel is a third-generation crew member at the station – her grandad was a member for 41 years and her dad is second coxswain and second mechanic and has been on the crew for 36 years.

She said she wanted to join the crew for as long as she could remember, having first being taken on the lifeboat when she was six months old.

Isobel is on the crew for both the D-class inshore and Tamar-class all-weather lifeboats, responding to a variety of calls from broken down boats to people in trouble in the water.

As well as serving on the crew, Isobel recently began work as a Police Community Support Officer with Sussex Police.

The award celebrated her work as a role model for women and girls in maritime search and rescue.

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