New Coxswain takes the helm at Hoylake RNLI lifeboat station

Hoylake RNLI lifeboat station has a new Coxswain at the helm as Howard ‘Howie’ Owen takes over the lifesaving role from Andy Dodd.

Howie was appointed to the full-time position of Coxswain Mechanic at Hoylake after volunteering with the RNLI for almost 30 years. Andy handed over the role to Howie on Sunday 27 June as he completed his final training exercise in command of Hoylake’s all-weather Shannon class lifeboat Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood.

Andy Dodd is stepping down to begin a new role with the RNLI as an Area Lifesaving Manager, providing support to five lifeboat stations in Cardigan Bay. His service with the RNLI began as a Hoylake Lifeboat volunteer crew member in 1994. He held numerous roles at the lifeboat station, before being appointed full-time Second Coxswain Mechanic in 2009 and the station’s first full-time Coxswain Mechanic in 2016. Andy’s father, David Dodd MBE, was also Coxswain from 1997 to 1998, as was his great-grandfather Thomas Dodd (1894 to 1916) and great uncle Arthur Dodd (1916 to 1919).

Howie becomes Hoylake RNLI’s new Coxswain Mechanic after a long career in the maritime sector. He worked as a Boating Officer with the British Antarctic Survey at Rothera Research Station in Antarctica and King Edward Point Research Station in South Georgia.

Howie also worked on private superyachts before joining the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, which provides logistical and operational support to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines. More recently, he worked on pilot boats operating out of the River Mersey.

Howie began volunteering with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution at West Kirby RNLI lifeboat station in the early 1990s. He served for over 20 years on West Kirby RNLI’s inshore lifeboat, before joining the all-weather lifeboat crew at Hoylake. He became a Deputy Second Coxswain in 2014 and an Inshore Rescue Hovercraft commander in 2018.

On becoming Coxswain, Howie Owen said: “It’s an honour to take on this role and I’m looking forward to keeping up the high standards and lifesaving traditions of Hoylake RNLI. We have a fantastic team of volunteers at Hoylake, not just on our lifeboat, hovercraft, shore and tractor crews, but also on our management, fundraising, media and shop teams. We couldn’t keep our charity’s lifesaving service running without each volunteer, their families, and our wider station community.

“I’m excited to take on this new challenge and would like to thank Andy for his leadership and commitment over the years, particularly through the difficult period of the pandemic. On behalf of everyone at Hoylake Lifeboat Station, I wish him all the very best in his new role with the RNLI.”

On stepping down as Coxswain, Andy Dodd said: “It’s been an honour to serve as an RNLI Coxswain and a privilege to work with such a fantastic team. Thank you to everyone who has supported me and the station over the years. I wish Howie and the team a safe and successful future.”

Image credit: Hoylake RNLI

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