A new award for excellence in navigation and seamanship has been set up in memory of a lifeboatman who died at sea.

A new award for excellence in navigation and seamanship has been set up in memory of a lifeboatman who died at sea.

The Paul Le Riche Award will be presented each year to the top RNLI student doing a theory course with distance-learning organisation Ocean Training.

Paul Le Riche had just started a home-based Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Offshore Theory course with Ocean Training when he died, aged 38, in January 2001.

Le Riche (pictured) and another man, John Roberts, aged 36, were both drowned when their fishing boat Saint Paol foundered and sank off Corbiere, Jersey.

Ted Miley, principal of Ocean Training, said: “Even though we had never met during Paul’s distance learning course, he felt like a good friend. I was proud to be training such a keen member of the St Helier lifeboat crew.”

A silver trophy featuring an engraving of the St Helier lifeboat RNLB Alexander Coutanche was inaugurated at a ceremony at the St Helier station.

Among those present were Le Riche’s widow Angela and his 16-year-old-son Jack, as well as his parents and other family members. Call Ocean Training for details of courses. Tel: 01451 860435.