JUGGLING being a mum-of-three and a pressurised full-time job while saving lives, is now all in a day’s work for Southend Coastguard’s first ever female station officer.

Sarah-Jane Coombes, 40, took on the position after working as a volunteer coastguard rescue officer since January 2018.

Since beginning her service, she has been called out to almost 150 incidents in the waters around Southend. This has been on top of her job as manager in Spire Wellesley Hospital and mum to her three children aged 16, 17, and 20.

Sarah-Jane went through extensive training with the coastguard service to the accolade of first female station officer. That training involved plenty...from first-aid to lost and missing persons skills through to ordnance and water rescue techniques.

Her promotion to station officer followed an extensive application process and in-depth interview with the senior coastal operations officer along with the coastal operations area commander.

Sarah-Jane said she has been warmly welcomed by her team, mostly men, which has “not deterred her in the slightest”. She said: “It’s like an extended family, having this opportunity to give back to the community by helping people in need along our shores is more than rewarding.”

All coastguard rescue officers respond to emergencies 24-hours a day and 365 days of the year, and athe team is based from the Southend Sector Office in Ness Road, Shoebury. She will receive training throughout the year to maintain her skill levels which could be called upon at any time

A Coastguard spokesman said: “Sarah has brought to the station not only her expertise and knowledge garnered since becoming a member, but skills honed away from the coastguard. To say the team and community are in safe and capable hands, with Sarah now leading them, is something we are quite certain of. The future of the rescue team looks exceedingly bright; we wish Sarah and her team the very best.”