Ben is new lifeboat mechanic

Ben McGarry, mechanic at Lytham St Annes RNLI station
Ben McGarry, mechanic at Lytham St Annes RNLI station

Ben McGarry has been appointed as new station mechanic by Lytham St Annes RNLI.

He succeeds Martin Jaggs, who has left the post to take up a new role as divisional operations manager for the charity’s England Central Division.

Ben, who lives in Lytham, joined the local crew at just 17 years old in 2011 while still a student at Lytham St Annes Technology and Performing Arts College.

He has recently worked extensively for the RNLI as a relief mechanic, a role which has involved travelling around various stations in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Ben, 22, has also been involved with the new Shannon class lifeboat trials and evaluation work and also with delivery passages of new lifeboats to their stations.

He has also helped to maintain the relief and training fleet of lifeboats based at RNLI Headquarters at Poole, giving him great experience of maintaining lifeboats and their equipment which will be the major part of his new responsibilities.

He will also be responsible for looking after the two tractors and Land Rover as well as the two boathouses at St Annes and Lytham.

Ben will become the station’s only full time person and is only the fifth to take the mechanic’s role at Lytham St Annes since the first motor lifeboat arrived 85 years ago.

Previous incumbents were Harry Evans (1931–1939), George Harrison (1939 –1979), Tony West (197 –1995) and Martin Jaggs (1995 – 2015).

Gary Bird has taken over Martin’s previous role of lifeboat coxswain.

Ben said: “I feel proud to be part of the lifeboat crew as mechanic and to be putting something back into the local community.

The RNLI sea rescue charity has a long history of saving lives at sea since they took over the Lytham Lifeboat Station over 160 years ago and it feels good to be part of this tradition. It is wonderful to be based in my home town.”