Porthdinllaen RNLI Stalwart retires after 32 years of service
Michael Davies, Porthdinllaen RNLI Coxswain, retired from duty earlier this month after completing a combined 32 years of service of lifesaving at sea.
Mike, as he was affectionally known to his crew at Porthdinllaen, began his career with the RNLI as a volunteer crew member at Abersoch RNLI Station. Born and bred in Abersoch, Mike spent any free time he had, sailing his dinghy in Abersoch Harbour. After a spell working in Abersoch Boatyard and owning his own fishing boat.
In 1985, Mike began working on standby and supply ships in the North Sea oil fields. 1996 saw Mike return home for a period of two years to help wife Frances look after their newborn twins, Josh and Jake, and four year old Jamie.
In 1998 Mike resumed his maritime career, this time on anchor handling supply ships, which took him all over the world. During his periods home on leave, Mike would volunteer at Abersoch Lifeboat Station, as a crew member, turning out whenever possible.
In 2003, Mike was appointed full time Coxswain of Porthdinllaen RNLI Lifeboat, a post that he held for over fifteen years until his retirement this month.
Mike said: ‘I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as Coxswain at Porthdinllaen. One of the highlights was our station receiving a Tamar Class lifeboat and new boathouse. Over the years I have made several friends within the RNLI, Porthdinllaen has a special place in my heart, I wish well to the crew and to my successor Owain Williams’
Dylan Thomas, Porthdinllaen Press Officer added ‘‘On behalf of all at Porthdinllaen RNLI station, I would like to thank Mike for all his hard work and dedication, upholding and promoting the tradition of the RNLI. Being part of the rescue community and to dedicate so much to such a worthy cause for over 32 years is an achievement’
Ken Fitzpatricjk, Launch Operations Manager added ‘ A testament to Mike`s popularity is that over 130 people which included family, friends and RNLI colleagues attended a farewell party for Mike at the Cliffs Inn, with some travelling from as far as Poole in Dorset, Barry Dock, South Wales and even Ireland. As a token of their appreciation, the crew presented Mike with framed photographs of the lifeboats he commanded while at Porthdinllaen. We are also grateful to the support the station has had over the years from Fran, Mike`s wife, who was presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers'
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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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland