Tributes to lifeboat mechanic after sudden death at just 32

A lifeboat mechanic who served for more than six years as a Lytham St Annes RNLI volunteer has died aged 32.

Sunday, 5th December 2021, 6:06 pm
Kerrith Black has died in his sleep, aged 32

Kerrith Black, known to all as Kez, passed away in his sleep and he leaves his partner Kayleigh and their 18-month-old daughter Aluna Rose Black, as well as his parents Roy and Andrea Black. A cause of death is not known.

Kez joined the Lytham St Annes RNLI crew in 2014 and three years later rose to become a lifeboat mechanic, a volunteer who is highly trained to look after the lifeboat engines and equipment at sea.

He was unable to continue his volunteering for the RNLI when he moved to Preston last year, with his new home beyond the maximum travelling range stipulated for calls to emergencies at sea via pager alert.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

But a spokesman for Lytham St Annes RNLI he was always considered part of the “Lifeboat Family” and if he had moved back into Lytham St Annes at any time he would have been warmly welcomed back on the crew.

Kez was a former pupil of Ansdell Primary School and Lytham St Annes High School and his father Roy is a long-serving Shannon Launch and Recovery System driver at the RNLI station in St Annes.

Ben McGarry, a Lytham St Annes RNLI crew member who had earlier stepped up to mechanic and encouraged Kez to also take the role, said everyone at the station was absolutely shocked at Kerrith’s death.

“It was a dreadful shock when we heard of his loss – we couldn’t believe it and are so sorry for his family,” he said.

“Kez was just a really genuine lad who would do anything for anyone and really enjoyed being part of the lifeboat crew.

“He really took to the role and was aways wiling to learn and was a great guy to have around the station – a proper team player.”

A private, family-only cremation service is to be held at Lytham Crematorium and there are hopes for a ceremony is his memory at the St Annes lifeboat station, but that is still to be confirmed and a date announced.

The station spokesman added: “Kez was held in high regard by his fellow crew members and the station’s condolences go to his family and friends.”

It is thanks to our loyal readers that we can continue to provide the trusted news, analysis and insight that matters to you. For unlimited access to our unrivalled local reporting, you can take out a subscription here and help support the work of our dedicated team of reporters.

Support us and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest football stories and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe