3 December 2023

‘A day I’ll remember for the rest of my life’

by Rebecca Hannant

The coxswain of Hornsea Inshore Rescue has told how he was “honoured” to be invited to a glittering concert in Windsor after receiving a Coronation Champion Award.

The awards invited people across the UK to nominate their local volunteering heroes who are going the extra mile. Karl Shannon won his award for his services to Hornsea Inshore Rescue, having worked with the independent lifeboat operator for more than 25 years, helping to save hundreds of lives along the coast.

Karl started his lifesaving journey in his mid-teens after a tragic incident only a few years before.

He said: “When I was in my early teens, I lost two very close friends to the sea in Hornsea, and their bodies were never recovered. I can remember sitting on the trailer of the two lads’ boat until 2am or 3am.

“I saw the helicopters flying about and the lifeboats all looking for these guys. From that moment, I realised what I wanted to be involved in when I was older.

“I have always had a massive fascination with the sea. I absolutely love it. From a young age, even with my schooling, if the sea was involved, I did really well. When Hornsea Inshore Rescue came about, I was 17, and I signed up. I have been involved with it ever since. I had a few years out when my children were born.”

Karl received a pin and a certificate as well as an invitation to the coronation concert.

He and his family travelled to London to see the procession and the coronation of the King on
Saturday before heading to Windsor Castle the next day.

He added: “It was absolutely fantastic. Me and my wife went down on Saturday to watch the parade – we ended up watching that in Hyde Park. There was a big screen where they were projecting the procession to and from the castle. We couldn’t get anywhere near the procession route; it was far too busy. It was still a fantastic atmosphere. We didn’t miss any of that.

“The next day we went down to Windsor Castle for the concert. “We were quite lucky because we were very close to the Royal Family. We had a crystal-clear view of them throughout the whole concert. We could see them dancing, clapping and cheering. It was an honour.

“We saw Olly Murs, Katy Perry, Nicole Scherzinger and Take That. My favourite act was Lionel Richie – I am a big fan.

“My favourite bit was when Zak Abel and Alexis FFrench did Don’t You Forget About Me, and they had the lightshow with the drones. It was breathtaking, and it is something I will remember for the rest of my life.”