Ex-coxswain Paul retires after 21 years with Fleetwood RNLI

Paul Ashworth has retired after 21 years with Fleetwood RNLI
Paul Ashworth has retired after 21 years with Fleetwood RNLI
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A former Fleetwood Lifeboat coxswain who spent 21 years with the service has retired this week.

Paul Ashworth, a plumber in Fleetwood, joined the town's RNLI in 1998 and despite having no sea going experience, he immersed himself in the training and quickly established himself as a vital member of the team.

Paul became coxswain in 2007 and held that position for seven years, having spent three years prior to that as deputy coxswain.

He also helped the volunteer fundraisers and frequently attended fund raising events.

One of his biggest fundraisers was the annual Fleetwood Lifeboat Christmas Ball, which helped raise thousands of pounds over the years.

Paul also retained a role of emergency cox for a time, after he stepped down from the main role, and was one of four Lifeboat members with coxswain experience to undergo trials on a Shannon-class Lifeboat vessel in Poole, Dorset in 2016, in readiness for when the new £2.2m all-weather vessel Kenneth James Pierpoint arrived in summer 2016.

Tony Cowell, current coxswain of Fleetwood RNLI said: “I served with Paul when he was coxswain and it was a privilege for me.

“I learnt so much and I have the utmost respect for him.

“He will leave a big gap when he goes, but we are fortunate his son, Chris, continues to serve with us at Fleetwood Lifeboat.”

Paul recently became a grandfather for the first time and the volunteer crew at Fleetwood hope Chris’s daughter, Olive, follows in her grandfather’s footstep in 18 years time.

It has been a big year for Fleetwood RNLI, with the station celebrating its 160th milestone in the summer, during the annual Lifeboat Day

event.

Paul said he was proud to have been a member of the lifesaving service.