Golf day held in memory of Skegness RNLI hero raises nearly £11,000
Former Skegness RNLI coxwain Richard 'Watty' Watson died on October 1, 2020 - a day after celebrating his 31st Wedding Anniversary with his wife, Sandra.
The Captain's Day was held at Seacroft Golf Course on Friday, hosted by incoming captain Mike Taylor, with the help of Sandra Watson and Rob Brooks.
It included an auction, presided over by Mike McEwan, for items such as a week in a ski chalet in France, games of golf at various courses, including Woodhall Spa, signed golf shirts and a trip to the British Touring Car Championship.
Generous sponsorship was also raised from friends, family and businesses across the local community.
Food at the 'halfway house' on the course provided by Tesco and donations from Fantasy Island and Skegness Springs helped to provide meals for all the players at the end of their rounds.
Total proceeds amounted to £10,827, which will be added to the JustGiving page set up in Watty's memory. It was was launched by his wife last year and now has a target of £50,000 for the Skegness RNLI.
The amount included a donation of £600 from the Horseshoes Hockey Club from players who were unable to attend and Keith Hussey, on behalf of the LVA, announced they were donating £500.
Sandra commented: "I've been overwhelmed with the amount raised and the support we received for the event.
"When Mike, Rob and I first sat down to plan the event we were hoping to clear £3,000. Then we set a target of £5,000.
"To raise nearly £11,000 has been amazing - and is testament to the respect the town and our friends and aquaintances still hold for him and what he did over the years.
"That day was the first I had cried happy tears in a long time."
During his RNLI service, Watty 'rescued 246 lives from shipwreck'.
Skegness RNLI, who have also expressed delight at the amount raised, paid tribute to their former coxwain on the anniversary of his death, remembering him as a 'husband, Lifeboat man and friend'.
A statement reads: "It was 1986 when Watty joined the crew at RNLI Skegness, starting as a shore helper he quickly progressed to ILB crew and then on to the ALB crew, Helm, Senior Helm, Crew on the River Thames, Deputy Second Coxswain, Second Coxswain and Finally Coxswain until he retired in 2019.
"Watty stepped down from his role as Coxswain in order to spend much more time with his beloved wife, Sandra - a time that was cut cruelly short.
"In total he provided town and RNLI Skegness with 32 years of selfless dedication and sacrifice, along the way he made friendships that would last a lifetime, and countless memories.
"Watty was modest, quick witted and warm, surrounded with a quiet benevolence that would put the newest of crew instantly at ease no matter what the conditions or the task. He was a friend to us all, respected and trusted to lead us all wherever we were needed.
"During his time on the crew of the lifeboats in Skegness, Watty helped save the lives of 246 people, a lasting testament to his passion and love for the Lifeboat and respect for the Sea.
"We would like to send our continued heartfelt love and support to Sandra, forever a fond member of our RNLI family.
"We will miss him, and we will carry him with us. Without doubt he will be with us whenever we set to sea, watching over us all.
"Fair Winds and following seas."
To make a donation to the JustGiving page, visit RNLI Skegness - In memory of Watty here.