Tim the coastguard


“My Civil Service employers always looked favourably on me being called out during work time and I have a very understanding and supporting close family”.

We're all very familiar with the job that our Coastguards do in our skies, ie the helicopter service but remember they also do a sterling job on the ground too. Professional and well trained at all times. Their safety and yours is paramount. On call 24 hours a day, volunteering their support along side our rescue services and the police. Providing expertise and skills to ensure we live and work safely in and around our coasts. These highly trained teams are lead by highly experienced individuals such as Tim. A senior Station Officer with over 40 years service. A man with a solid memory of all of his rescues and a man with a passion for saving lives.

Tims life on the rescue front started as a boy. At 13 he joined the SLSA ( Surf Life Saving Association) at Porthmeor, St Ives and enjoyed life saving duties for a few seasons. He soon became interested in what the HM Coastguard service did by way of having two uncles in the service. Some years later, Tim joined the Coastguards and started his training. At 21, a career called for Tim and he joined the civil service but continued in his volunteering role. Over the years Tim has been part of several major rescues, none more familiar that the terrible loss of the Penlee Lifeboat on 19th December 1981, Tim was there that day. A terribly sad loss and day for Cornwall and the RNLI. One of their worst losses in their history. In 1993 Tim was transferred to the Penzance station and took over as Station Officer a few years later. He's been there ever since.

My experience of the service that day was on one of their training exercises in which Tim and his team simulated a cliff top rescue. Something they’ve done on numerous occasions and something the other services call upon for their expertise. Nothing is overlooked, excuse the pun, everything is double checked as their safety is just as important as yours.

I spent some more time with Tim at the station. He read me a few of the incidents him and his team had attended over the last twelve months. Some very touching rescues/stories followed by some very distressing ones too. He remembered each and everyone of them and how they were all actioned. Tim said - “I have experienced many many incidents over my total of 40 years in the Service”. His office has a board on the wall covered in press cuttings and photos of the rescues him and his team have attended. A lovely visual reminder of the voluntary work they do.

Cheers Tim