First RNLI lifeguard to be awarded Queen’s New Year’s Honour

Lifeguards News Release

A Poole and Bournemouth lifeguard for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution is among those recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours announced today (Friday 29 December).

Chris Lewis


Chris Lewis

Chris Lewis is one of the longest serving lifeguards in the UK, having dedicated 52 years of voluntary lifesaving to the community of Poole and Bournemouth as part of the RLSS and RNLI. Chris has performed hundreds of rescues, and thousands of lifeguard patrols. Today Chris Lewis, who is still saving lives at 67, has been recognised with an MBE.

On receiving the news of his award, Chris said ‘I’m amazed, it’s amazing to hear someone from the RNLI has put me forward for this award. I’ve been lifeguarding since I was 16 with the RNLI and RLSS and it’s been a great incentive to keep myself fit.’

Chris has been a champion and advocate for beach safety in Dorset and internationally. Chris’s passion for lifeguarding began when he enrolled with St John’s Ambulance at 15, and providing first aid at numerous swimming events. Since then, Chris has demonstrated a lifetime of achievement and numerous examples of courageous acts.

RNLI Chief Executive Paul Boissier said: 'The RNLI depends on the commitment, skill and courage of its volunteers, staff and fundraisers – and those that have been named in this year’s New Year Honours epitomise those qualities. I’m delighted that these wonderful and well-deserving people have been recognised.'

Notes to editors:

The attached picture shows:

- Chris Lewis (credit RNLI)

For more information please contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or

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