Adam passes out as helmsman at New Brighton RNLI

Adam Bidston, a volunteer at New Brighton RNLI, officially passed out as helm on Thursday, 9 May.

A sunny Thursday morning brought fair winds and tidings for Adam, who has been with New Brighton RNLI for five-and-a-half years, as he was passed out as a helmsman on the station’s Atlantic 85 B class lifeboat.

Adam is the latest addition to the command team, after Tom McGinn passed out late last year.

Adam also didn’t have to wait long for his first shout as a new helm, taking command of the tasking that came in on Saturday, 11 May, afternoon at 2.25pm. This shout was to reports of a paddle board floating out into a navigation channel.

The incident was resolved quickly and efficiently and the lifeboat returned to service shortly afterwards.

Joining the crew in January 2019, Adam served through the difficult Covid-19 pandemic. The time since his joining has been some of the busiest years that New Brighton RNLI have ever had. His training throughout that time has been extensive, covering all aspects of crewing the lifeboat as well as taking command, which he is now qualified to do on service when a shout comes in.

For anybody unfamiliar with the role, the helm is a vital part of an inshore lifeboat’s crew. They take command of the vessel when on the water (as a Coxswain does on the all-weather lifeboats), responsible for decision-making and maintaining the safety of the vessel and crew at all times.

Away from the RNLI Adam works as Cable Ship Captain, which takes him all over the world, he said, “I’m really proud to become New Brighton’s newest Helm. This massive achievement wouldn’t have been possible without the support, assistance, and dedication of all the crew and operational team at New Brighton.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to help New Brighton RNLI thrive in my new role!”

Ian Thornton, Lifeboat Operations Manager at New Brighton, said, “It is a proud day for the station indeed that Adam has passed out as helm. He has shown a fantastic commitment to the station since he joined and has shown wonderful drive and ability to reach this point. It puts the station in a stronger position having Adam in a command role.”

Image: Adam rings the bell as New Brighton’s newest helm. Credit RNLI/Connor Wray

Why not follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Threads? You can also send story ideas or letters to the editor to