Larne lifeguard honoured for 20 years of continuous service

Kerry Fokkens who was awarded the RLSS Service Cross.
Kerry Fokkens who was awarded the RLSS Service Cross.

A Larne lifeguard has been awarded a Service Cross by the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) for her dedication to the role.

Kerry Fokkens, who is Duty officer in Larne Leisure Centre and has been a council employee for over 30 years, said she was delighted to be presented with such a prestigious medal.

“I am very honoured to receive this award from the Royal Life Saving Society,” said Kerry, who was recognised for 20 years of continuous service.

“I have received a certificate of merit in the past and was part of a team who were awarded a certificate of commendation some years ago for rescuing members of the public who got into difficulty in the sea outside the leisure centre.

“However this medal is very special as it recognises a long period of service.”

Kerry’s passion for swimming started at the age of nine when she began competing with Larne Swim Club.

“I got into lifesaving through the Larne Grammar lifesaving club back in the early 1980s and the interest really started there.

“I have been a Duty officer in Larne Leisure Centre since 1995 and I have had opportunity to teach members of the public to become lifeguards.

“I also assist with the on-going lifeguard training programme for the leisure centre staff.

“Lifesaving and water safety is so important.

“It can save people’s lives just by having knowledge of safety in water and what to do when in or near water.

“We have one of the biggest coastlines in the country, so it is important we know what to do around water.”

RLSS UK presentation of Honours is designed to say thank you to all who contribute to a reduction in drowning across the UK and Ireland and allows individuals and groups to celebrate their achievements.