WHEN Lynne Jorgeson isn’t helping to keep our coastline safe, she loves nothing more than spending her spare time tutoring the next generation of martial arts stars.
The Hartlepool mum has been practising karate for 23 years and she has developed her own school – with a little help from her family.
But Lynne also loves to play a key role in keeping our coastline safe in her role as deputy station officer at Hartlepool Coastguard.
She describes her lifestyle as “hectic” but admits she wouldn’t have it any other way.
The 47-year-old joined the Coastguard team five years ago as a volunteer rescue officer before progressing up the ranks.
Lynne, who is married to Michael Jorgeson, 49, said: “It is something that I had always wanted to do and when an opportunity came up I took it.
“After two years of working as a coastguard rescue officer I then became the deputy station officer and my main role now is to support the station officer in search and rescue missions.”
All of the team members work on a pager system and can be called out at any time by the Humber Coastguard.
Volunteers assist in search and rescue missions, surveillance, communications and intelligence gathering, reporting hazardous objects and helping rescue injured animals and pets.
Whereas some people may not like the idea of being called out, Lynne thrives on the challenge.
She added: “We get called out to everything from search and rescue missions or to help assist stranded seals.
“There is currently nine members on the team and there is a vacancy at the moment for a volunteer to join the ranks.
“I really enjoy the work; it is very challenging at times but we work as part of a team and there is a real community spirit.”
The Hartlepool team cover the stretch of coast between the Tees Barrage and Horden, while also supporting the team at Seaham.
Lynne said the worst part is being called out to search a stretch of the coast in the middle of the night when it is “blowing a gale and freezing cold” but she said the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
She added: “When you find someone on a search, that is the best part of the job. When you get a good outcome that is really uplifting and it makes the job worth doing.
“It is a big commitment but I love it.”
Last year crew members were called to 57 incidents and this year they have so far received two shouts; to help bring a group of males rowing off Seaton Carew back to shore and to help rescue a dog, which had fallen into the sea near Steetley Pier.
Michael’s family originate from Denmark and he works as a painter for Nissan in Sunderland.
The pair, who live on the Headland, have two grown-up children Michael, 29, who also works in the care profession as a personal assistant and Carl, 27, who also works as a karate instructor.
Lynne, who is an assistant instructor at Hartlepool Divers Club, also finds the time to run her own Japanese-style karate school called The Hartlepool Wadokai Karate Club.
The not-for-profit school meets at the Belle Vue Community Sports and Youth Centre, in Kendal Road, and at Owton Manor Primary School, in Eskdale Road, four nights a week.
Lynne runs the school with Michael, son Carl, his partner Amy Coulson, alongside Vince Dawkins.
The team of five instructors are responsible for 200 members, which range in age from children aged five up to adults.
Lynne, who is a 4th Dan, said: “It is a hectic lifestyle but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Luckily my family all take a keen interest in the karate club and Amy and Carl are both in the England Karate squad.
“My husband is also heavily involved and it is nice that we can do it as a family.
“I don’t enjoy not doing anything and I don’t have any plans to slow down any time soon – I would only be watching television.”
The group is proving such a hit that the instructors have organised an invitation event which will see teams from across the country competing for medals at the Brierton Sports Centre, in Brierton Lane, on Sunday, March 20.
Lynne added: “We are expanding all of the time. We have been running for eight years and continue to go from strength to strength.”
Group members train at the Belle Vue Centre on a Tuesday, between 5pm and 8.30pm and on a Friday, between 6pm and 8.30pm and at the primary school every Monday, between 6pm and 8pm and on a Wednesday, between 5pm and 8pm.
The club also runs a woman’s self-defence session, family sessions and sessions for youngsters in town schools.
Each session costs £3 and the money goes towards paying the hall hire.
Any money leftover goes into a kitty to pay for equipment and the club has four competition standard mats.
l For more information about the karate club call Lynne on 07926061871 and to find out more information about volunteering as a member of the coastguard team, email area manager Greg Albrighton via firstname.lastname@example.org