Portrush Lifeboat Crew Say Farewell to two Stalwarts

Lifeboats News Release

The Volunteer Lifeboat crew and Fundraising team from Portrush Lifeboat Station said goodbye on Thursday night to their Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM), Robin Cardwell and one of their longstanding Deputy Launching Authorities Fred Williams, on the occasion of their retirement.

RNLI/Judy Nelson

Des Austin, Coxswain, Fred Williams, Keith Gilmore LOM

The Volunteer Lifeboat crew and Fundraising team from Portrush Lifeboat Station said goodbye on Thursday night to their Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM), Robin Cardwell and one of their longstanding Deputy Launching Authorities Fred Williams, on the occasion of their retirement.

Both men have a combined total of nearly 80 years’ service to the RNLI.

Robin Cardwell, served as crew, Assistant mechanic and then Coxswain before taking up the post of LOM 10 years ago. Fred too has been on crew, Assistant mechanic and then as DLA and Lifeboat House Visitors Co-ordinator, a post which he is keeping on much to the relief of everyone at the station.

Crew from the flank Station Lough Swilly also came to say goodbye, along with family and friends of crew members.

Incoming LOM, Keith Gilmore paid tribute to Fred and presented him with his citation on vellum from the RNLI as well as a piece of glassware depicting the Lady Scott, the lifeboat the Fred knew well.

Keith said: Fred’s experience and knowledge was unsurpassed and will undoubtedly be missed, especially when Returns of Service have to be completed

Des Austin, Coxswain then paid tribute to Robin on behalf of the crew and presented him with his citation on vellum and a similar piece of glassware commissioned from local artist Denise Loughery of Artisan glass from a painting by crew member Tim Nelson.

Des stated ‘Robins knowledge has been invaluable, and he will be missed by crew and operations team alike.

John McCarter -LOM from Lough Swilly then presented Robin and Fred with gifts on behalf of his station.

Robin and Fred thanked everyone involved in their careers with the RNLI and wished everyone at the station good luck for the future, especially the new LOM, Keith Gilmore and new Deputy Launching Authorities, Charles Grossie, Kerry Gregg and Gerard Bradley.

A great night was rounded off with a beautiful supper prepared by Shirley Austin, wife of the Coxswain, and plenty of reminiscing and storytelling by crew past and present.

Ends

RNLI/Judy Nelson

Des Austin presenting Robin Cardwell with his vellum

RNLI/Judy Nelson

John McCarter - LOM Lough Swilly presenting Robin Cardwell with a gift

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 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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