Fleetwood RNLI’s first woman at helm

Angela Sanderson became the first female helm of Fleetwood RNLIs inshore lifeboat.
Angela Sanderson became the first female helm of Fleetwood RNLIs inshore lifeboat.

It was congratulations all round as lifeboat volunteer Angela Sanderson became the first female helm of Fleetwood RNLI’s inshore lifeboat.

Angela, proprietor of Angela Sanderson Interiors, on Lord Street, Fleetwood, became a volunteer with Fleetwood lifeboat in 2006 and was also the first female navigator on the Fleetwood team.

Following extensive training, Angela was assessed and passed as helm for the current D class inshore lifeboat, Mary Elizabeth Barnes.

Angela’s experience also enabled her to be a member of the crew that brought the current Shannon class all-weather lifeboat, Kenneth James Pierpoint, to Fleetwood, from Poole, in June.

She has been involved in many rescues with the Fleetwood volunteers, but remembers one in particular. It was the case of a man, walking his dog, who became trapped on a sandbank near Rossall Point.

Angela said: “The man was holding the dog out of the water, even though he was nearly up to his waist in the sea.

“The dog was hypothermic when we got her into the lifeboat and I think both were just so relieved to be rescued.

“They were both very lucky.”

Neil Atkinson, Training Co-ordinator for RNLI Fleetwood said: “Angela has worked and trained hard for 10 years and thoroughly deserves the position.

“She is a popular and valued member of the team and we’re so pleased her hard work and commitment has now been recognised.”