Andy Redman with family and colleagues at a celebration of his 30 year service
A Sheppey coastguard rescue officer who joined to follow in his father’s footsteps has been honoured for 30 years’ service.
Andy Redman, of Wellesley Road, Sheerness, was joined by family, friends and colleagues for a presentation where he received a bar to the long service medal he had been awarded after 20 years’ service.
His anniversary was actually last year but the celebration of his achievement took place earlier this month.
The 49-year-old, who works as a van driver for the Co-operative, moved to the Island in 1973, to Warden Point, and, as soon as he was 18, signed up, as his father Tom was a coastguard officer.
He said he wanted to give something back to the community and loves the job because of the variety it offers.
“When the pager goes off, you never know what you are going to,” he said.
“Every job is different.
“You get mixed reactions from people but when you get a ‘thank you’ it’s really the icing on the cake.”
One of the more unusual memories from his career was when he was out on duty and had a call to say his wife Sharon had gone into labour.
He was rushed to the hospital still wearing his dry suit, which he said did cause a few funny looks from people.
Another memorable incident, albeit much less happy, was the microlight crash in Eastchurch in 2004.
“The wings had come off and there were two deaths,” he said.
“It wasn’t nice. But it was out of the ordinary and stuck in my mind.”
Mr Redman and the team were given a commendation – the second of his career – for their rescue efforts at the crash.
The first commendation had come in about 1987 when he and his colleagues were called to rescue two girls who had become stuck in mud at Warden.
As well as fellow coastguards, he was joined by his father, Sharon and daughters Lianne, 18, and Kirsty, 21, at the get-together. Kirsty is also a coastguard officer with Sheppey.