Retired Ramsgate coxswain Ron Cannon awarded MBE in Queen's Birthday Honours
Volunteer crew members and the lifeboat community at Ramsgate RNLI lifeboat station congratulate their retired coxswain Ron Cannon after he was awarded an MBE in Her Majesty the Queen’s 2017 Birthday Honours.
Ron, an active RNLI volunteer for 53 years and former coxswain of Ramsgate lifeboat, has been awarded an MBE for his services to the charity that saves lives at sea.
He was a crewmember of Ramsgate RNLI (one of the busiest stations in Britain) for 37 years – and the coxswain for 25 of those. During his time at the helm of Ramsgate lifeboat he was awarded two Silver Gallantry medals - the RNLI’s second-highest honour. Following family tradition, Ron joined Ramsgate lifeboat crew in 1964, and was appointed the station’s coxswain/mechanic in 1976, at the time the RNLI’s youngest coxswain. This was shortly before the arrival at the station of the RNLI’s Waveney class lifeboat Ralph and Joy Swann, a new and advanced lifeboat design based upon a vessel proven by the US Coastguard.
He was twice awarded the RNLI’s Silver Medal for his ‘truly outstanding seamanship and tremendous courage’ for rescues. The first was during the evening of Boxing Day 1985 when he and his volunteer lifeboat crew members managed to save a French trawler and its seven-man crew when the trawler had run aground in Ramsgate’s Pegwell Bay. The second was in November 1999, when he led his crew to rescue the three-person crew of a yacht aground on the Goodwin Sands in difficult and dangerous conditions.
For each of these rescues he was also presented with The Maud Smith Award for that year’s bravest act of lifesaving by a lifeboat crew member.
Ron retired as coxswain in 2001 and was succeeded by his eldest son Ian. He maintained his association with Ramsgate lifeboat station firstly as a Deputy Launching Authority (DLA) and subsequently as Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) until he reached the RNLI’s required retirement age. His active support for the RNLI and the station continues, however, as President of the station’s management committee.
Paul Boissier, Chief Executive of the RNLI, said ‘Ron is an exceptional lifeboatman who has tirelessly served the RNLI and the local community of Ramsgate for over half a century. He is a courageous, dedicated and immensely generous volunteer who has always been willing to go above and beyond the call of duty. As such, he greatly deserves this prestigious honour.’
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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