A century of service at Redcar RNLI.

Lifeboats News Release

Two volunteers at Redcar have clocked up one hundred years of RNLI service between them.

Photo of Tony Jamieson (left) and Bob O'Neill (right) who have both achieved 50 years volunteering with the RNLI.

RNLI/Dave Cocks

Tony Jamieson (left) and Bob O'Neill (right) who have both achieved 50 years volunteering with the RNLI.
Tony Jamieson and Bob O'Neill both began volunteering for the RNLI in 1969. Tony joined the Teesmouth lifeboat station as a crew member before becoming second mechanic. He was part of the lifeboat crew involved in the fateful grounding in 1993 of the giant tanker Freja Svea, during which the Teesmouth lifeboat was badly damaged when it was struck by an enormous wave. Later on the same day the Hartlepool lifeboat was capsized in mountainous seas.

Tony later joined the Redcar lifeboat station in the mid-1990s as a sea safety adviser. During his time in this role, he has spoken to hundreds of boat owners and thousands of school children about the dangers of the sea.

Bob joined the Redcar lifeboat station as a crew member before becoming a launching vehicle driver. He is now a deputy launching authority, responsible for the tasking of the lifeboats to incidents. He is also heavily involved in the day-to-day running of the lifeboat station.

Mike Picknett, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Redcar, said: 'We are extremely privileged to have Bob and Tony here at Redcar. To complete 50 years of volunteering is outstanding. There's been a lifeboat at Redcar since 1802, so they have both been involved in almost a quarter of the history of lifesaving on this stretch of coast.

'If anyone was to ask me what we look for in our volunteers, I'd just point them in the direction of those two. Their commitment, enthusiasm and dedication are everything that's good about the RNLI.'

Tony and Bob have both received the RNLI's Excellence in Volunteering Award, and will be presented with their 50-year medals in 2020.

Ends

Notes to editors:

Attached image shows Tony Jamieson (left) and Bob O'Neill (right) who have both achieved 50 years volunteering with the RNLI. Credit RNLI/Dave Cocks. Also attached is an image of the Freja Svea aground at Redcar in February 1993. Credit Teesside Archives/Evening Gazette .

Redcar lifeboat station has been operating since 1802

Redcar currently operates a B-class lifeboat named Leicester Challenge III, paid for by the people of Leicester, and an IB1-class lifeboat named Eileen May Loach-Thomas, paid from the legacy of the late Mr Nick Thomas of Shropshire

For more news, information and images go to www.redcarlifeboat.org.uk. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/redcarrnli and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RedcarRNLI

Any images used should be credited RNLI/Redcar unless indicated

RNLI media contacts:

For more information please contact Dave Cocks, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager on 07894 558 483. Alternatively, contact Clare Hopps, RNLI Press Officer, North 07824 518641 or at clare_hopps@rnli.org.uk, or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789; pressoffice@rnli.org.uk

Photo of the Freja Svea aground at Redcar in February 1993.

Teesside Archives/Evening Gazette

The Freja Svea, aground at Redcar in February 1993.

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.

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 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.