The determination to join a lifeboat crew was the inspiration that helped a local man lose a massive 19 stone.
Andy Lyne saw his weight peak at 33st in 2009. Not only was this bad for his health – it also meant that he was too heavy to join the RNLI crew.
Having been a fisherman for many of the years since he left school, Andy had first-hand experience of being assisted by the lifeboats, and wanted to use his skills and knowledge of the sea to help save lives.
Andy, 31, said: “I went straight from school to be a fisherman, and when I was at sea we had to be helped a few times, during bad weather or due to mechanical problems.
“The sea can be very dangerous and now I want to help other people.”
In order to lose the weight, Andy had a gastric band fitted, and over the course of two years got back down to a healthy 14 stone, and was able to join the Flamborough crew.
This is not Andy’s first experience of the RNLI. He was previously a crew member on the Bridlington lifeboat, but had to leave following a brain aneurysm in 2005.
Born in Flamborough, Andy now lives in the West Hill area of Bridlington.
He has a strong family history with the lifeboats: his father Alan was a member of the RNLI until 1993, when Flamborough’s North Landing station was closed, and as a child Andy would help out.
Andy said ‘This is something I have always wanted to do, I love everything about being a volunteer crew member.
“The RNLI plays a hugely important role in saving lives at sea and I am really enjoying the training involved.
“I am also looking forward to attending the training course at the Lifeboat College in Poole later this year, following which, I want to progress to become a helmsman.”
The newly-lightweight Andy will soon be doing something else that he couldn’t have done two years ago – jumping out of a plane.
He said: “During Scarecrow Week I’m hoping to do a sponsored parachute jump, as a way of raising money for the RNLI.
“It’s a very important cause for everyone who lives near the coast.”
Anyone who would like to sponsor Andy can contact him on 0781 7672949.