Volunteers at Teignmouth Lifeboat Station have learnt with great sadness of the death on October 21 of James Trout, a tireless worker for the Teignmouth RNLI since the earliest years of its re-opening in 1990.
Joining the newly re-opened Lifeboat Station, James was one of the original helms of our first Station Lifeboat, the Frank and Dorothy, an Atlantic 21 Inshore Lifeboat.
When he retired from the crew, he went on to serve for many years successively as shore crew, station administrator, training co-ordinator and finally Deputy Launching Authority from 2003 until his retirement in 2020.
Tony Watson, a former Station volunteer who worked with James over many years, said: ‘James was one of the nicest gentlemen you could meet, and who devoted his spare time to RNLI Teignmouth.
‘He was a father-figure to generations of crew, and was always available to explain RNLI procedures and to help at moments of crisis, whether with casualties, or with crew or shore crew.
‘He was always available and glad to pass on his knowledge and experience.’
Charlie Woolnough, Lifeboat operations manager, adds: ‘James had a remarkable talent for bringing the best out of members of the team, boat crew and shore crew alike.
‘He was a fine mentor, who could spot aptitudes at the earliest stage and encourage development into particular roles. James was essentially a ‘ people person ‘, never seeking the limelight but always encouraging others.’
The RNLI Flag was lowered to half-mast in tribute to James, and all his many friends and colleagues will mourn his passing.