Chair of St.Agnes RNLI Lifeboat retires after 49 years voluntary service

Lifeboats News Release

The Chair of St.Agnes RNLI Lifeboat Gerald Simmons has hung his wet weather gear up after 49 years service.

Gerald with the LOM Bruce, and Senior Helm Gavin

RNLI/Paul Kimberley

Left to Right Bruce Baker, Gerald Simmons, Gavin Forehead
Gerald started volunteering when the first lifeboat arrived in St.Agnes, way back in 1968, when the station was opened by the RNLI. In his association with the St.Agnes RNLI he has served as crew, honorary secretary (now known as Lifeboat Operations Manager) and more recently as the Chair of the station, among many other roles.

He is stepping down for personal reasons, but will still be around to offer his decades of experience and words of advice and support to all the volunteers at the station.

In celebration of an incredible 49 years voluntary service a presentation evening was held on Wednesday 27 August, at Trevaunance Cove, St.Agnes, where the station he served so faithfully and all the lifeboats he's overseen were, and still are, based.

The event was held in 'Schooners Cornwall', overlooking the cove and colleagues, friends and family of Gerald came from far and wide to share in the celebration. The latest RNLI Lifeboat 'XKalibur' was launched solely in his honour and performed a demonstration in the bay for him to watch over from the venue.

Many online tributes and messages of congratulations, from around the country and the world, were posted on the station's social media pages and displayed for Gerald and his guests to read.

Dickon Berriman, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager, gave a 'Through the Years' presentation, to a large gathering of well wishers, with various pictures and memorable stories of Gerald's time with the lifeboat, both afloat, and ashore.

The current Senior Helm, Gavin Forehead, presented Gerald with a 'Certificate of Thanks' from the RNLI and the Lifeboat Operations Manager, Bruce Baker, presented him with a very impressive statuette of a crafted and mounted section from a lifeboat brass propeller. Gerald's wife Debbie was presented with a bouquet of flowers in recognition of her support to him and his dedication.
Gerald and his wife Deborah, pictured with LOM Bruce and Senior Helm Gavin

RNLI/Paul Kimberley

Left to Right, Bruce Baker, Deborah Simmons, Gerald Simmons and Gavin Forehead
A wall covered withSome of the hundreds of Photographs through the 49 years of Gerald's service, along with messages from well-wishers.

RNLI/Paul Kimberley

Some of the hundreds of Photographs through the 49 years of Gerald's service, along with messages from well-wishers
Gerald and members of his family

RNLI/Paul Kimberley

Gerald celebrating with his family.
Brass Statuette, made from a section of a lifeboat propellor, mounted on wood, with a dedication plaqu

RNLI/Paul Kimberley

RNLI Thank You Statuette to Gerald
RNLI Certificate of Thanks

RNLI/Paul Kimberley

RNLI Certificate of Thanks Gerald received.

Key facts about the RNLI

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 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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