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A proud day for Torbay as RNLI Coxswain collects OBE from HRH Prince William

Lifeboats News Release

The Coxswain of Torbay RNLI, Mark Criddle, has today received his OBE from HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace.

Criddle family

RNLI Torbay Coxswain Mark Criddle OBE with his wife Mel at Buckingham Palace

The OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) was announced in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list earlier this year, for Mark’s enduring service to Maritime Safety. A highly regarded and well respected leader, Mark has given almost 30 years of unwavering support to the RNLI, holding various roles including mechanic and trainer, and taking on the role of Coxswain for RNLI Torbay in 2002. He has launched the lifeboat on service more than 415 times since taking on the role, and is the RNLI’s most decorated serving Coxswain.

On learning of the award back in June, Mark thanked his family and the RNLI volunteer team, saying:

‘You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with, and I am extremely lucky to have such a supportive family and outstanding crew to serve alongside at Torbay RNLI.’

This evening, after the award ceremony in London, he added:

‘Receiving the OBE was a very proud moment - not only for myself and my family, but also for everyone at the RNLI Torbay station and Brixham as a whole – and Prince William was great!’

Alongside his commitment to the RNLI, Mark volunteers with and inspires young people with his work at Brixham Rugby club, Brixham Sea Anglers Club and also takes great pride in helping with school visits throughout Torbay.

During the family’s trip to Buckingham Palace, full search and rescue capability was maintained by the men and women of the RNLI Torbay volunteer lifeboat crew under Deputy Coxswain Roger Good, meaning that Mark, his wife Mel and their two sons Maitland and Marsden could fully enjoy their well-deserved big day in London.

Congratulations to Mark and all the family!

Notes to Editors

  • Three photos attached show the Criddle family at Buckingham Palace today, and a close up Mark’s OBE medal

Link to original News Release following the OBE announcement in June is here:

RNLI media contacts

Victoria Bowen, RNLI Torbay Lifeboat Press Officer

07794 043 428 or

Emma Haines, RNLI Regional Media Officer:

01752 854450 or

or RNLI Public Relations at Poole HQ on 01202 336 789 (24 hours)

Criddle family

Mark and Mel Criddle, with sons Maitland and Marsden at the Palace

Criddle family

Mark Criddle's OBE medal, received earlier today 7 November 2018

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, Carrybridge 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