Gold Badge for Invergordon Lifeboat Operations Manager
Invergordon Lifeboat’s Operation Manager Captain Iain Dunderdale was recognised by the RNLI for his long service to the charity at an awards ceremony held in Perth recently, where he was presented with the RNLI’s Gold Badge.
Iain’s RNLI life began in 1982 under Captain Alistair Black, where he served as Deputy Launching Authority where he then became the Station’s Honorary Secretary in 1984 when Alistair left the station before the role became Lifeboat Operations Manager.
Over the years at the helm, Iain has seen many Lifeboats stationed at Invergordon from the early opened wheel house boats capable of 8 knots to the today’s all-weather lifeboat. Iain reign started with the Barnet Class Lifeboat ‘RNLB James and Margaret Boyd - 913’ on station from 1975 -1984, followed by the Brede Class Lifeboat ‘RNLB Nottinghamshire – 33-10’ from 1984-1988, the Waveney Class ‘RNLB The White Rose of Yorkshire -44-012’ was on stationed between 1988 -1996, where we currently still have the Trent Class Lifeboat ‘RNLB Douglas Aikman Smith -14-08’.
Given all the boats on station over the years, that has come with some memorable shouts which Iain had been requested to Launch the Lifeboat to attend, these included, Fires at Sea, Rescue craft falling from close-by Oil Rigs, numerous pleasure craft requiring assistance, but Iain’s most memorable one has to be the ‘Est’ where the drama unfolded as the 1,500-tonne ship Est, with a Dutch skipper and foreign crew, was a mile off the mouth of the Cromarty Firth with confirmation that one of the crew armed with an axe and various weapons attempted to hold the remaining crew hostage, and fired flares at the Lifeboat, with crew jumping overboard for safety.
Besides the rescues Iain has launched the boat for, there is a social element to his job as Operations Manager, with helping on Fundraising Days, where he has seen to be reunited with his good friend Stormy Stan, quite often seen posing for a photo together, to Quiz Nights, and not forgetting the station’s Christmas Party, where the station mechanic has his own award ceremony!
On receiving his Gold Badge award, Iain stated “Being Lifeboat Operations Manager at Invergordon Lifeboat Station, gives me great pride as the team of people involved at the station from the Volunteer Crew, to the Fundraisers are all fantastic, a really great team of people, and I have been delighted to been a part of this station for so long”
The Station has nothing but admiration for Iain, with Station Mechanic Kevin Dent stating, “When I started with Iain Dunderdale I was fairly ‘green’ and over the years, I learnt a lot from Iain, and now regard him as one of the best LOM’s. He truly is a Great guy and congratulate him on his award.”
Current Coxswain Andrew Murray congratulates Iain in his achievement, for many years dedicated to the RNLI and the Invergordon Lifeboat Station. As coxswain it is very assuring to know that Iain can be called upon at any time for advice or situation requires. It has been a pleasure working alongside Iain at the station for the last 25 years and continuing the working relationship moving forward as Iain is very much a close and valued member of the Operations Team.”
Well Done Iain from all at Invergordon Lifeboat Station.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.