Long Serving Weston-super-Mare RNLI boss stands down

Lifeboats News Release

Richard Spindler, the long serving Operations Manager at Weston Knightstone RNLI lifeboat Station stands down from an operational role due to his age after 54 years service to the RNLI, saving many lives.

RNLI/Glyn Hayes

Richard Spindler is known to many at Weston as the heart of the local RNLI crew They volunteer whenever needed to save lives at sea 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. He served on the crew of the lifeboats until he reached the age when he could no longer be boat crew. He then took up the role of Deputy Launching Authority and then Lifeboat Operations Manager. Once again age has overtaken him but he will continue serving the RNLI and the local community as Lifeboat Boathouse Manager.

He has a long history of bravery in the face of difficult conditions. He has bravery awards for saving lives. In particular he rescued three boys and a coastguard when they were trapped in a cave on Brean Down in a storm. The lifeboat itself could not get in to the cave. Richard swam in three times and brought the survivors out one by one to the safety of the lifeboat,

As well as his personal bravery he has been an inspiration to all the crews who followed him. His knowledge and skills have been passed on in a non assuming yet very effective manner.

He has received many awards for his service. Most recently the RNLI Gold Badge, The No 10 Downing Street Pillar of Light and most of all he had a trip up to Buckingham Palace to receive an MBE for his services for saving lives at sea.

He will not be leaving the station having taken on the role of Boathouse Manager to keep the station in order and help with the development of the new station.

His place as head of the station is being taken by Michael Buckland. Mike has been on the station for 19 years and has been a helmsman for over 14 years. As a senior member of the crew he has been involved in many rescues and helped to save many lives.

Mike Buckland, Lifeboat Operations Manger Weston RNLI said:.’

‘I am excited to have the privilege of leading our team forward and I hope there are exciting times to come in the near future with developing plans for the new station and launch capabilities. I'm delighted that although Richard is standing down as Operations Manager he is remaining part of the station team as our Boathouse Manager'.

Richard Spindler said;’ It has been a huge privilege to serve on this station. I have known and worked with many great people and have had a very rewarding time serving alongside these heroes.

I shall miss being involved in the operations but having my new role should be exciting as we build our new station, and I will still be working with the crew.’

RNLI/Glyn Hayes

Richard Spindler receiving his MBE

RNLI/Glyn Hayes

Mike Buckland, New Weston LOM

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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