14 August 2022

Callouts for lifesaving couple are no problem

by Terry Bearpark

A Withernsea couple who are both involved in saving lives and coastal safety have recently celebrated receiving the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee medal.

Sean Bell has been a crew member of the Withernsea RNLI lifeboat for 11 years. A former member of the armed forces and coxswain of a vessel serving the off-shore wind turbine industry, he is now a student paramedic.

His wife Ann has been a member of HM Coastguard at Withernsea for 26 years and is currently deputy station officer.

Coastguarding has always been in her blood – her father Ian and uncle Ray both served for 27 years as coastguards at Withernsea. Her grandfather Charlie was an auxiliary coastguard for a creditable 54 years, and great-grandfather Ernest served for 32 years as a member of the Lifesaving Association and Coastguard.

With both Sean and Ann being on call 24 hours a day there can be slight problems when their pagers go off together but with Ann’s parents living next door the care of their two school-age daughters is usually quickly sorted out. If necessary they have plenty of friends who take on the role.

“We love being part of the lifesaving services in Withernsea,” said Ann, “It is an honour belonging to two great organisations. We are both very pleased to have received our Platinum Jubilee medals.”

Whether their daughters eventually join either service remains to be seen but certainly, if they do, they will receive full support from Sean and Ann.