‘Invaluable’ Mark thanked for dedication to Sidmouth Lifeboat

Mark Roden is standing down from the Sidmouth Lifeboat team

Mark Roden is standing down from the Sidmouth Lifeboat team - Credit: Archant

Coxswain has stepped down to spend more time with family

A dedicated member of the Sidmouth Lifeboat team has stepped down after 12 years of service and around 100 emergency call-outs.

It was in 2004 that coxswain Mark Roden fulfilled a long-held ambition to join a lifeboat crew.

This was a dream born from his days growing up and surfing on the north coast of Ireland, where he would often see the Port Rush rescue vessel put to sea.

The seafarer’s natural ability saw him progress quickly through the ranks, qualifying as a helm in late 2008 and going on to be the crew’s coxswain before he decided to stand down this year to spend more time with his family.

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Described as ‘an extremely dedicated’ and ‘invaluable’ volunteer, Mark has crewed or commanded a great number of missions, from saving children caught out in dinghies in turbulent seas, to rescuing an injured man from Jacob’s Ladder beach.

Senior coxswain Phil Shepperd said: “When I took over a few years ago, the scale of the task ahead of me was quite daunting.

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“Mark’s support as a coxswain was invaluable from the start and throughout, enabling us to keep on providing continuous cover 365-days-a-year, from Budleigh to Beer, and up to 20 miles out to sea. I’d like to say a huge thank-you to him and his family for all that they have given us.”

Mark helmed the last call-out of 2015 - to rescue a missing boarder in large, breaking waves - and was again on hand for the first shout of 2016, to oversee the safe recovery of a dog that had gone over the cliff near Budleigh Salterton.

Crew member Ian Fletcher said: “It is not only Mark we would like to thank for showing such considerable dedication and commitment over the years, but also his family, who will have had to put up with many hours of an absent husband and father. Mark, you will be missed.”

Guy said: “Mark was a truly dedicated volunteer and extremely competent lifeboat coxswain and crew member who was on call 24/7 for 12 years. He will be missed.”

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