A SEA-LOVING volunteer has come to the rescue of Sidmouth Lifeboat and filled a vital behind-the-scenes role that had left the service in jepoardy.

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Kitrina Bishop came forward after reading in the Herald how an unsuccessful nine-month search for a new company secretary left bosses of the independent cause fearful for its future.

She will take over the position from the long-serving Philip Churchill when he retires in March.

Lifeboat trustees this week expressed their relief at landing the right person for the job - and in the nick of time.

Several people came forward after the Herald told last month of the peril of the independent charity – which costs £80,000-a-year to run and is hugely dependent on the kindness of the community.

Chairman John Fowler said of the appointment: “It was vital to the point that we questioned whether we could have kept the lifeboat running if we hadn’t found her.”

He thanked the Herald for publicising the issue and all those who subsequently applied for the role.

Kitrina, who met the lifeboat crew for the first time on Tuesday, settled in the Sid Valley in 1986 and has worked and raised her family here.

Now retired, she felt she had time for more involvement in local activities and felt she could put her business management experience to good use.

Both her sons learnt to sail through Sidmouth Sailing Club and her family all love the sea.

Kitrina said she was delighted to land the role and is now learning the ropes from Philip.

She added: “I am grateful for the warm welcome I have received from all those involved with the lifeboat, and look forward to helping them support this worthwhile cause.”

She said of her predecessor Philip: “He’s a hard act to follow.”

Philip, who has given the lifeboat 11 years of dedicated service, said: “We’ve had some time together and she seems very competent. It is a great relief to be able to hand it over.”

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