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Gold Badge for Invergordon Lifeboat Operations Manager

Lifeboats News Release

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 Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland