Torbay Lifeboat Station Manager awarded MBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Lifeboats News Release

The man responsible for managing one of the South Coast’s busiest lifeboat stations has been recognised with an MBE for services to Maritime Safety on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

David Ham, 74, has been the Lifeboat Operations Manager at Torbay Lifeboat Station for the past eight years.  During this time he has juggled the pressures of crew and support staff recruitment and availability, complex rescues, and the constant need to raise funds for the charity.

His leadership of volunteers and the positive and professional environment he has created for the team mean he is highly respected by the lifeboat crew, enabling them to perform to their highest potential. It is also widely recognised within the town and community that his commitment, and his service to the safety of the seas around Torbay, has been nothing short of exceptional.

David, said: 'It came as a big surprise to be given this award. It really is recognition for the good work of the whole station at Torbay and what we have built together from the fundraisers to coastal safety and the crew it really is a team effort. I am thrilled to carry this honour on behalf of the team.'

David always has a sense of  duty,  which was illustrated by his search for a missing 14 year-old diver who unfortunately drowned before help could arrive.  He showed great sensitivity and attended to the needs of the family of the missing child, continuing to support them in the months after the tragedy too, helping them to focus their grieving through acts of charity and remembrance.

It is not only as the Operations Manager that David supports the RNLI as he is also the force behind Torbay's annual SOS RNLI fundraising day each winter.

In January 2012, he found and motivated a crew to row a vintage lifeboat from Brixham to Torquay, calling at the various harbours on the way, while their wives and girlfriends pushed an inflatable inshore lifeboat round by road.  In one day, through his drive and organisation, this initiative raised £10,000.

Notes to editors

  • Photo credit: RNLI

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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.

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