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RNLI Volunteer Chairman Retires

Lifeboats News Release

John Abraham, Chairman of Porthcawl RNLI committee has decided to retire following 20 successful years volunteering for the charity. His role covered both the operational and fund raising committees at the station.

John chats and has a joke with HRH Princess Anne during her visit in 2015

Steve Jones

HRH Princess Anne with John Abraham

During his chairmanship it is estimated that over half a million pounds was raised locally for the charity. The lifeboat has launched over one thousand times and saved numerous lives. John was supported throughout by his wife Marj who in her own right raised seventy thousand pounds selling tickets for quilts she would raffle each summer season.

Following his retirement in early February John reflected on his time involved with the RNLI, he said, ‘My first contact with Porthcawl lifeboat was through my father, one of the original 12 volunteers who formed the elected Station committee in 1965. Then when our retirement brought us back to live in Porthcawl I was invited to join the fund raising committee, becoming chairman and later Station Chairman. I was struck, immediately, by the total commitment of all personnel in all aspects of the lifeboat service, our town should be proud of the time and dedication shown by our volunteers.

There have been many happy times, the station personnel have had the privilege of royal visits from HRH Princess Anne, HRH Duke of Kent and many dignitaries over the years. Just three years ago Porthcawl celebrated the station's fiftieth anniversary with an Anniversary Ball which was very successful and a credit to all volunteers’.

John, who had been a deputy head teacher during his career lives with Marj in Picton Ave Porthcawl, they have three sons, six grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Granddaughter Hannah served as crew at Porthcawl before moving from the town. When asked of his plans for retirement John said he would like to do more beach fishing.

Lifeboat Operations Manager, Philip Missen MBE said, ‘John has been a great ambassador for our station dedicating hours in so many varied ways for the betterment of us all. He has been a friend to us all and respected by all our volunteers’.

John and wife Marj celebrating at Porthcawl's 50th Anniversary Ball in 2015

Steve Jones

John and Marj Abraham

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

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