'Spud' at the helm of Diamond Jubilee

‘Spud’ at the helm of Diamond Jubilee

Keith (Spud) Murphy has announced his retirement from active duty as volunteer crewman aboard Eastbourne lifeboats after nearly 30 years loyal service.  

Keith first joined the lifeboat crew in 1984 as a shore helper involved in the complicated process of launching the ‘Rother’ class all weather lifeboat ‘Duke of Kent’ from the beach at Fisherman’s Green. Since then he has been a crewman aboard all subsequent inshore and all-weather lifeboats associated with Eastbourne RNLI up to the current state of the art ‘Tamar’ class all weather boat ‘Diamond Jubilee’.

During his long service Keith has been involved in many high profile rescues including the medal winning service to the yacht ‘Paperchase’ which foundered on rocks at the entrance to Sovereign Harbour during a severe storm on the night of October 20th 2002. For his part in this rescue Keith received a Medal Service Certificate from the RNLI.

Brought about by work and family commitments making it impossible to respond to his pager 24/7 Keith decided to make Sunday’s exercise launch his last. Keith enjoyed taking the helm of Diamond Jubilee to Beachy Head (rather than his customary position in front of a radar screen) and helping the younger crew with their training exercise. The volunteer crew of Eastbourne’s inshore lifeboat came alongside and Keith transferred for an exhilarating wave bouncing trip before returning to the ALB.

Keith intends to remain as part of the crew for the foreseeable future as a shore helper assisting with the launch and recovery of the all-weather lifeboat.