Our People

Board of Trustees

Stephen Hand
Chair

Stephen began a career in IT management in 1975 in the transport industry, followed by spells in investment banking, insurance and legal services. From 2000 to 2011 he led a global IT function as Group IT Director at the Lloyd’s Register Group. Following retirement, Stephen worked as a consultant helping clients in the UK, Europe and Asia with IT strategy, governance and commercial management. He also qualified as a commercial arbitrator and is still involved in contractual dispute resolution. He was a member of the Board of Governors at Middlesex University for six years and is a local councillor, spending five years as council chair. Stephen joined NCI in 2016 at Shoreham station as a watchkeeper and was elected Station Manager in 2018. He was elected as a Trustee in 2020. He has crewed other people’s yachts in the Solent and the South China sea, and now in his spare time plays golf and bowls as often as possible and, because someone has to, supports Queens Park Rangers. Stephen is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Chartered IT Professional and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Phil Styles
NCI Deputy Chair, General Secretary & Welsh Affairs

Phil has spent most of his career working for Multi National Corporations predominately in the electronics sector, with the last 15 years being at senior management level. This has included 8 years working in Europe and America involved with start-up and restructuring projects. He was also an Auxiliary Coastguard for 11 years based at HMCG Porthcawl. As well as being on the Board he is the Station Manager at NCI Porthcawl where he has actively promoted the use of CCTV to extend the station’s coastal visual range, while also providing a vital visual web link back to the local MRCC.

Chris Aps
NCI Deputy Chair & Station Development Trustee

Chris was a Consultant Cardiac Anaesthetist and a Clinical Director at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, London, having trained at St Thomas’ Hospital as a medical student, and latterly led all operating theatre and post-operative recovery departments across both hospitals. Heavily involved with post-surgical critical care he developed the Overnight Intensive Recovery unit (widely adopted nationwide) which takes significant pressures off Intensive Care resources. An experienced private pilot, he has now hung up his wings in favour of (very active) boating and has the RYA Yachtmaster (Coastal) qualification. Chris is still an Assistant Training Officer at NCI Gosport and is currently coming to the end of his three-year stint as Station Manager. On being elected as Trustee, he has necessarily relinquished his position as National Support Officer for the Solent (South) Stations, which he will miss. He is passionate about the NCI and the important role it plays in the SAR family.

David Crozier
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

David enjoyed a 37 year career as a TV Production Designer and Director/Producer with the BBC, ITV companies and Independent Production Companies including his own company. He then turned his lifelong passion for guitars into an occupation and became a luthier and vintage guitar restorer which he still is. David joined NCI Newhaven in 2010 where he served as a Trainer and PR Officer and then Station Manager for eight years. His first national role was as National Training Manager. He is currently Chief Executive Officer and a Trustee, DFS Assessor and member of the NCI/Coastguard Liaison Team as well as being a Watchkeeper. David’s vision is of NCI as a truly national organisation serving, as one, to prevent accidents and protect lives.

Graeme Gordon
National Treasurer

Græme, who was born in Glasgow and educated in the Highlands, was the Master of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Accountants in 2020-21 and previously the CEO of Praxity – an international alliance of over 700 offices belonging to independent Accounting and Consulting firms. Prior to joining Praxity, Græme was the CEO of Emile Woolf International, training accounting and key soft skills in several parts of the world, including Moscow, Beijing, New York and Islamabad. Græme is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Graeme is a former Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm officer and is presently a Trustee of the Britannia Association, which oversees the RN training college at Dartmouth. For over 10 years he was also the Producer, Treasurer and Board member of the Chiltern Shakespeare Company, which annually produced and performed a Shakespeare play in the Grounds of Hall Bard, Beaconsfield. He lives in Marlow, Bucks., and has been married to Sharon for over 40 years. They have three children: Samantha, Callum and Caitlin.

Sir Alan Massey

Sir Alan joined Gosport NCI as a watchkeeper in late 2019, with a career history in maritime operations and SAR. He served for 33 years as a Warfare Officer in the Royal Navy, culminating in the role of Second Sea Lord as a Vice Admiral in 2010. He then spent eight years as Chief Executive of the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, during a time of major transformation of HMCG and ever-improving relations between NCI and MCA. He is currently non-executive Chair of Trinity House’s Lighthouse Board; Chair of HeliOperations (a medium-sized company in Portland, specialising in helicopter facilities and SAR training); a non-executive Director of Shoreham Port Authority; and a consultant in maritime SAR and security matters.

Helen Simpson

In addition to a 40 year career in Education, and voluntary work with the Prince’s Trust, Helen has 16 years varied experience in NCI. Starting as a Watchkeeper at NCI St Ives, and rising through a range of committee roles, she has been Station Manager for the last 9 years. She is also a DFS Assessor and she intends to continue to perform both roles as the Trustee with liaison responsibility for Cornwall. Helen always puts people at the heart of everything she has done, and she takes very seriously the responsibility she has had for both the recipients and providers of the services she has been involved with. She is also very aware of her responsibilities within a voluntary organisation dedicated to Search and Rescue. A keen sailor in her spare time, Helen has gained the RYA Yachtmasters and Power Boat Handling qualifications, and, in the process, gained a fuller understanding of the hazards of sea based activities. She developed a further knowledge and appreciation of safety in all environments, when undertaking Mountain Leadership training. Helen aims to perform all her roles with enthusiasm and a sense of humour, whilst remaining fully people – centred. She is highly organised and prepared to ‘give it a go’, and is very excited at the opportunity to help take NCI into its fourth decade.

Gail Rendle

Gail worked in the City of London in the Lloyd’s of London reinsurance market for a number of years. However, seeking a change of course she left the City and embarked on a lengthy overland trip throughout Africa for several months. Stepping out of one’s comfort zone proved a valuable life experience. Fast forward a number of years, joining NCI Gosport in late 2016 required a similar mindset. Coming from land-locked North London, the prospect of learning new skills such as chart plotting and VHF radio work was a daunting prospect, but one worth the try. Two months after qualifying Gail became Roster Officer, passed PB Level 2 and joined what was then Queen’s Harbour Master (QHM) Volunteer Harbour Patrol in Portsmouth (who knew driving a boat was so good). The roles of Deputy Station Manager, Acting Station Manager, National Support Officer and Sector Manager followed, culminating, Gail says, in the privilege of being elected a Trustee in April 2023. When not ‘looking out the window’ Gail enjoys going somewhere new, being outside, cooking, the BBMF, dogs, books, and occasionally doing unwise things like a tandem sky-dive, coasteering and white-water rafting.

Linda Lawrence

Linda emigrated to Australia in 1968, but was really homesick, so after three and a half years she returned and continued working as a District Nurse. In 1988 she opened and manage a residential home for the elderly. She has two sons, four grandchildren and one great grandson; her second marriage 23 years ago to husband Peter brings the total to eleven grandchildren and a great grandson. They both enjoyed boating and holidays and weekends were spent on the Norfolk Broads. Eventually they decided that Norfolk was where they would like retire. Ten years ago, while walking on Caister Beach, Linda called into the recently advertised NCI Caister, and never looked back. Within two years she became Station Manager and a DFS Assessor. Later, as part of the Operational Support Group, she was asked to revitalise NCI Runton where only four watchkeepers remained. With help from neighbouring Stations they tried to repair the very dilapidated portacabin, which eventually had to be replaced. She put in bids for grants, and with a generous donation from Sir James Dyson, who was born and grew up in Cromer, was able to fully fund a new unit, now renamed NCI Cromer. Linda was Head of Operations for eighteen months, continues with the DFS team as lead assessor and is a member of the Station Development Team.

Management Executive

The Management Executive comprises the Chief Executive Officer and several Heads of Departments. Collectively they are responsible for the day-to-day running of National Coastwatch and ensuring that the Charity’s national strategies, as defined by the Board of Trustees, are successfully implemented.
The Management Executive currently consists of:

David Crozier – CEO

Eric Taylor – Head of Operations

Mike Smith – Head of HR & Admin/Head of IT Support

Richard Saynor – Head of Stations Technology

Tom Scrimgeour – Head of Logistics/National PRO

Robert Thornton – Head of Fundraising Strategy

Rob Wilsher – Head of Internal Communications