North Wales RNLI stalwart retires after nearly three decades of volunteering
Alan Sharp will this week retire after over 29 years of service to the RNLI, spending the last 16 and a half years as Llandudno RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer.
Alan, originally from the Wirral has always had a keen interest in ships and the sea. In 1989, whilst living in Kelsall, Cheshire he joined the RNLI, and along with a small group of other local people he formed the RNLI Kelsall Fundraising Branch, where he was a ‘hands on’ chairman for 13 years.
A retired Personnel Officer in power stations and the water industry, after moving to Penrhyn Bay with his wife Pat, Alan offered to help at Llandudno RNLI. In 2002, he became the station’s Lifeboat Press Officer. Alan promoted the station and the work of the volunteer crew from operations to fundraising events to visitor centre matters by writing news releases and co-ordinating media facilities.
In recognition of his dedicated service to the RNLI, Alan was awarded the RNLI’s Silver Badge in 2000 and an RNLI Inscribed Statuette in 2013.
Danielle Rush, RNLI Relations Media Manager for Wales and the West says:
‘Having worked closely with Alan for more than a decade, I can honestly say he is one of the most committed and loyal volunteers I’d had the pleasure of working with. Keeping the RNLI in the news is an important role in order to ensure the public are aware of our charitable status and the skill and dedication of our volunteer crews.
‘Alan is a true perfectionist and helped to ensure Llandudo call outs were publicised in a timely manner to meet media deadlines. He was a regular visitor to the station on a Friday morning to display articles on the station noticeboard to ensure the crew were able to see their work being recognised. Alan thrived off the adrenalin of the pager sounding and whatever time of the day or night ensured he was in a position to gather the facts to write a news release.
‘I personally will miss Alan’s enthusiasm and most of all his humour, which is sometimes required in this demanding role. I’d like to wish him all the very best on his well-deserved retirement and offer my sincere thanks for all he has done for the RNLI. He will be sadly missed.’
In his spare time Alan enjoys studying local shipping activities, Scottish coastal passenger shipping, writing occasional articles for maritime publications and local press. Alan has also been author of lifeboat station information publications, booklets about the River Dee and a history of Dee steamer services. He also enjoys gardening and visiting open gardens.
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, in a normal year, 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.