Without a Tractor Driver the lifeboat cannot launch, and so their role is essential. Prior to launch, the Tractor Driver is a critical part of the launch authorisation process, along with the Launch Authority and the Helm. Once launch is agreed, the Tractor Driver takes the rig along the seafront and down to the waters edge, where the trailer is reversed into the sea until water depth allows the boat to float and exit the trailer. During rough weather, the timing and direction of the Tractor Driver’s entry to the sea are critical to achieve a safe launch.
Once the boat is at sea the driver and other shore crew rig the recovery net on the trailer, re-entering the water on the boat’s return to allow it to be driven into the trailer. It’s then back up the beach and to the boathouse for refueling, extensive wash down and numerous checks ready for the next launch.
Senior Launch Driver
|I retired from running The Marmite factory in 2008 and moved to Sidmouth in 2009 when I joined as Shore Crew. I enjoy playing with engines and working to improve things so being part of the Lifeboat crew gives me plenty of opportunity!|
|Guy Russell Gardener / Owner at
|I have lived in Sidmouth all of my life, joining the crew in 2010 and am extremely passionate about the sea. I have worked as a Lifeguard for many years and spent the vast majority of my life surfing! I run a Business on Sidmouth Beach during the Summer, Jurassic Paddle Sports.|
|Ian FletcherInformation Assurance Manager, D&C Police.PR & Media Officer||Left the Royal Navy in April 2014 – joining Sidmouth Lifeboat in May 2014 to try and maintain my nautical skills! It’s a great organization to work for and is really friendly and professional. If not busy with the Lifeboat, I’m busy running the 1st Sid Vale Cub pack!|
|Guy Bennett||Brought up in Sidmouth, joining the crew in 2010 and have always had a passion for the sea, fishing and surfing etc… My Business as a landscaper enables me to respond when required, I recently completed a degree in Ocean Science for which I received First Class honours.|
|Brian TaylorBoathouse Manager||Joined Sidmouth Lifeboat’s shore crew in October 2014. Previously a deep sea Marine Engineer and a retired Police SGT I can appreciate what an asset the Lifeboat is to the local community and to sea farers in particular. It is hoped that my experience and life skills will be a further asset to this young and enthusiastic volunteer crew!|
|Andy HorsleySenior Therapeutic Radiographer||Joined Lifeboat in September 2015 when I semi-retired. I have sailed since I was nine years old and decided it was time to give something back to the community! Outside interests are sailing, cycling and surfing.|
|Andy HardyRetired Chartered Surveyor||Retired in 2015 and moved to Sidmouth from Hertfordshire and joined the Lifeboat in October 2016. Have been visiting the area for family holidays since 1987 and have always enjoyed the sea. Enjoy fishing, kayaking & 5-a-side football.|
|Mal Sawdy||Retired from the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue service in 2007 after 28 years service and moved to Australia. Served in the Australian volunteer Coastguard for four years as advanced crew, First Aid trainer and Fire officer. Returned to the UK in 2013 working as a volunteer education presenter for the RNLI before relocating and joining Sidmouth Lifeboat in April 2016.|