Coastwatch trio in Mablethorpe remembered

A special memorial service was held for former watchkeepers, Stu Edson, Keith Fretwell and Tom Sands.
A special memorial service was held for former watchkeepers, Stu Edson, Keith Fretwell and Tom Sands.

The lives of three former active Coastwatch watchkeepers will forever be remembered following the citing of a special memorial bench.

A memorial service to honour watchkeepers Stu Edson, Keith Fretwell and Tom Sams was held at the Coastwatch’s home base on Sea View Car Park in Mablethorpe on Tuesday, January 24.

The trio all passed away during 2016.

This is the first time since the Mablethorpe Coastwatch’s formation in 2009, that they have lost three ‘active’, well respected members.

Paul Russell, publicity officer and watchkeeper for Mablethorpe Coastwatch explained that the team wanted ‘something tangible’ to celebrate their memory.

“The team really wanted somewhere for family and friends to remember them,” Paul said.

“A commemorative bench was the favourite choice of everyone.”

The bench was erected alongside the Coastwatch Station.

It was made specially by a fellow Coastwatch watchkeeper Will Derner.

Mr Russell added: “It was great that Will had made the memorial bench for us with his fair hand.

“It made the commemoration service all the more special and gave it a more personal touch.”

Coastwatch members clubbed together to pay for half the cost of the bench, while the Coastal Community Challenge kindly covered the other half.

This is a place where all three members had spent many hours watching over the sea and beaches in the protection and safety of others.

The service of dedication was attended by fellow watchkeepers, the coastwatch mascot, family and friends along with the Rev Phillip Greetham who conducted the service.

Also in attendance was the Mayor of Mablethorpe, Trusthorpe and Sutton on Sea, Councillor Joyce Taylor, her consort and a number of public members who wanted to pay their respects to the three watchkeepers.

After the service,attendees then went over to St Peter’s Church, in Mablethorpe, for hot drinks and cakes.

To find out more about Coastwatch and the work that they do via their website. Visit:

They operate everyday from 9.30am-5.30pm during the winter months.