On Thursday December 5 Tia Bolton turned seventeen and completed the family quartet of volunteers at RNLI Rye Harbour station.
Tia said: “I have been counting down the days for months now. I am really excited to join my family at the station as a member of shore crew. I have grown up with family members always being involved, especially on my mum’s side.”
Tia’s father, Paul Bolton, is the Lifeboat Operations Manager at Rye Harbour and has held many positions at the station including shore crew, tractor driver, helm and boat crew. He joined in April 2000 because he wanted to give something back to the community that he had grown up in.
He was born in Pembury, Kent and moved around a great deal as a youngster as his father was in the Royal Navy. In the ’70s he lived in the Harbour with his grandmother for a year and in those days there was a junior crew which helped launch the D class lifeboat and Paul got involved in that.
There was a strong village commitment to the RNLI as many families living there were direct descendants of the crew lost in the Mary Stanford disaster of 1928. Paul joined the Army at sixteen and learnt many skills which he transferred into civilian life when he left six years later. He became an HGV driver for a variety of local firms, then a taxi driver and is now working as a driver trainer for Waitrose.
Paul met his wife Claire at the lifeboat station where she was a member of the crew. Her own family (Robus) has a long history of involvement with the RNLI in the village. Her father was a senior helm and a Deputy Launch Authority and his brothers were involved respectively as tractor driver and press officer.
Izzy Bolton, Tia’s sister, joined the station in May this year as she had always had an interest in the work of the RNLI and wanted to be part of the important work of teaching people to respect the water.
She is a student at college studying biology, maths and health and social sciences and her goal is to be a paramedic. It is in her nature to want to help people in dangerous situations and in distress. Tia is also a student and her aim is to be an accountant.
And so the quartet of Boltons with their strong connections to the RNLI at the station in the Harbour is now complete, each one playing a vital role in fulfilling the charity’s mission to Save Lives at Sea.
Image Credits: Kt Bruce .