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End of an Era for Roger

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI volunteer Roger Strawbridge ended a long and distinguished career as a sea-going crew member on 1 July after forty three and a half years of continuous service with the Fishguard lifeboat station.

Roger Strawbridge

Paul Turner

Roger Strawbridge

Roger, a local fisherman joined the station as a 22 year old crew member on the Watson class all-weather lifeboat Howard Marryat in January 1974. During his time as a volunteer crew member he also served as emergency mechanic and second mechanic. He also crewed the inshore lifeboat when that arrived in 1995 until he reached the statutory retirement age for inshore lifeboat crew.

Roger said:

‘Yes, I’ve seen a few changes. When I started, we were called to a ‘shout’ by maroons being fired either from the coastguard or lifeboat station and now we have pagers. We also carry a lot more personal safety equipment now.

‘I can remember my first ‘shout’ was to take a doctor out to the Duke of Rothesay ferry, that would have been on the Howard Marryat. Since then I’ve crewed on the Arun class Marie Winstone and then on the Trent class Blue Peter VII which replaced her in 1994.’

Although Roger has now reached the age where he has to stand down as a sea going volunteer, he will not sever his ties with the RNLI as he will continue to serve as part of the shore crew.

Chairman of the Lifeboat Management Group, David Davies said:

‘Roger Strawbridge has served Fishguard and Goodwick Lifeboat Station with a willingness and dedication that few will be able to surpass. Over and above his actual RNLI role he is also well known for his many acts of kindness ashore to sailors the station has rescued and indeed, to any visitors to the area in difficulty. It has been a privilege to serve with him over the years.’

Roger’s last ‘shout’ was to attend a small dinghy off Strumble Head with engine failure.

During his time with the crew from 1 January 1974 until 1 July 2017 there have been 583 all-weather lifeboat launches and records from the RNLI headquarters in Poole show that 469 people have been rescued, of which 103 have been lives saved.

Notes to editors

Black and white photo of Roger Strawbridge – credit Jack Lowe/The Lifeboat Station Project

Colour Photos of Roger with crew – credit Paul Turner.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Rick Mabey on 07785 953251 or rickmabey@btinternet.com

Alternatively contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789.

Roger Strawbridge

Jack Lowe/The Lifeboat Station Project

Roger Strawbridge
Roger Strawbridge with crew

Paul Turner

Roger Strawbridge with crew

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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For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.

 

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

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