19th November 2018
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New coxswain at Aith has an all-round boating background

The Aith lifeboat has a new coxswain, all-round sailing and boating enthusiast Adam James from the Isle of Wight.

New Aith lifeboat coxswain Adam James. Photo: Liz Boxwell

He replaces the long-serving Hylton Henry who retired recently, 28 years after taking over from his father Kenny who held the role for 19 years.

Mr James has been welcomed to the RNLI’s Aith station by the crew of volunteers, and has already started to find his feet in the community.

He has a background in sailing as his career started on Tall Ships. However, he has spent his life working on boats of some kind and he is also a qualified boat builder.

According to the RNLI that made him an ideal candidate for the position, and with the time he spent working with various charities, including the Jubilee Sailing Trust (which enables disabled people to sail as a fully integrated crew member) he was considered the best choice for the Aith post.

RNLI media officer Liz Boxwell said: “Adam has also been involved with building boats, ranging from modern racing yachts to motor boats, and even the largest wooden Tall Ship built in the UK for over a century.

“This gives him the breadth of knowledge to understand most types of boats, and assess the situation more easily when a vessel is in danger

“Although not from an RNLI background, Adam previously lived almost next door to the inshore lifeboat station in Cowes, and has friends on the crew. With a lifelong connection to the water he has always respected the RNLI’s work and had a keen interest in what they do.

“He was persuaded to apply for the role by these friends, who told him it would be ‘ideal for him’, but he never thought he would be successful in his application, given that at the time he lived in Cowes and the vacancy advertised was in Aith.

“However, he immediately found himself attracted to the job as he felt it posed a challenge, and he had always been interested in coming to Shetland.”

Although the interview process was hard Mr James was delighted when he was offered the position. He then had to go through intensive RNLI training and testing before being confirmed in the post.

Since arriving in Shetland he had managed to see some of the local scenery and had found the views “astonishing”. He had found the locals very friendly, and said he was “looking forward to buying a house, settling down into the local community, and getting on with the job”.

Ms Boxwell said the voluntary crew at the Aith station were delighted that Mr James had accepted the position and looked forward to having him “on board” as part of the crew.

About Jim Tait

Jim Tait is news editor at The Shetland Times.

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