Friday, 30 March 2007


Each lifeboat station has a Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM). Until recently they were referred to as the Honorary Secretary (Hon Sec for short) but far more commonly by the crew they are both referred to and treated as God. You see they call the shots, not on the boat which is the Coxswain's domain, but ashore and in the boathouse. They quite simply must be obeyed and deferred to.

Ours is Captain Neil Hardy. He is a man who commands respect; Falklands veteran, Master Mariner, Ferry Captain, greying, old and resident in Worth Matravers. By the younger crew he is feared, by the elder crew respected. And with good reason. He runs the show and is unafraid of tough decisions. Tow the line and he will grease the cogs of your lifeboating life. Mess up more than once and you have a problem........a God shaped problem.

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