High-flying club talker

MATLOCK Luncheon Club were flying high thanks to their latest guest speaker.

Sue Hickson-Marsay’s title for her talk was ‘Stormed Crossed Lady’, based on her occupation as a pilot launch coxswain – the only female holding such a post in Britain.

She explained that her role involves piloting a 50 foot, high-powered launch out to sea to pilot ships safely leaving or entering the river Humber. Every ship entering or leaving the Humber must have a pilot because of sand banks and lethal tides, except for ferry-crossing captains who must take exams to enable them to have pilot exemption certificates. These launches still operate in atrocious conditions such as dense fog and strong winds, the most dangerous part being taking the pilot off her ship and onto another ship.

A spokesman for the club: “Sue’s talk was filled with humour, rescue tales as well as facts. She admits that she suffers from sea sickness and has tried every remedy she could find. “During her training for the pilot launch she was advised by an old sea dog to eat jam sandwiches before she went to sea, saying they won’t stop you being sick but will still taste good when they come back!”