Thanks have been given to a retiring coastguard officer who has been helping to keep people safe at sea for more than two decades.
Ian Goodwin, who celebrated his 61st birthday on Thursday, April 25, was also presented with a medal for his long service at the Sheerness United Masonic Club in St George’s Avenue.
The father-of-two, of Marine Parade, Sheerness, said he first thought to join the Sheppey branch of the rescue service after he saw one of HM Coastguard’s cars drive past his house after he moved to the Island 21 years ago.
Since 1997 the part-time education inspector has been trained in mud rescue, water rescue and search and rescue.
Speaking about the event to mark his retirement, attended by about 50 people on Friday, April 12, he said: “I had a great send off and was given an engraved barometer gauge from my Sheppey colleagues.
“I come from the Midlands, Stoke-on-Trent. There’s no water there and I like living next to the coast, it reminds me of being on holiday.
“I first applied after I saw the coastguard car drive past my house when I first moved to the Island.
“I’ve had a very good experience working for HM Coastguard.
“I’ve dealt with a number of incidents and it has been good working with colleagues and together we’ve done a lot of rescues and a lot of training together.
“I’d like to thank all the team.”
Talking about how he finds the time to volunteer, he added that he does not watch television.
“You can knock two or three hours out of someone’s life each day on that,” he said.
Despite leaving HM Coastguard however, he will still be keeping himself busy with his role as president of the Sheppey branch of the Royal British Legion.
He also has plans to travel with wife Sue.
Mr Goodwin added: “Thanks go to my wife especially.
“She’s been woken up many times in the night when I’ve had to go out on a call.
“She’s been very understanding and supportive.”
Before moving to Sheppey Mr Goodwin spent nine years living in Kemsley after moving down from London.
He was presented with the long service medal by area commander Matt Pavitt.