Mumbles Volunteer crew member hangs up his life jacket after 45 years
‘We’re tremendously grateful for Graham’s hard work’
Today the volunteer crew of the Mumbles lifeboat had one last launch with their longest serving crew member.
Graham Wright celebrated his 65th birthday today with a last training exercise on the stations All Weather lifeboat The Roy Barker IV.
Graham had his final launch while entering his 45th year as a volunteer saving lives at sea. He’s been recognised by royalty when he received his 40 year service award presented by the Duke of Kent and also got to meet Prince Albert of Monaco when he visited the station. His volunteer role meant he was always ready for duty when his pager sounded.
Graham said ‘While the technology of the boats has changed dramatically the task remains the same, get to the station as quickly as possible, get on the boat and be ready for anything’.
Something Graham has always taken in his stride is passing on his vast knowledge of the sea to the following generations of lifeboat crew including Graham’s own son Daniel who went on to become lifeboat helm and then an officer in the merchant navy.
Graham was one of the first to attend when the Prince Ivanhoe steamship ran aground at Port Eynon. ‘It was a major incident and preparing for these kind of events is what the RNLI prides itself in training for while hoping they’ll never happen.’
Over the years Graham got to be recognised as an outstanding ‘Citizen of Mumbles’ and even been part of various tv shows and movies like BBC show Ennals Point and Blue Peter.
Tim Conway Lifeboat Operations manager at The Mumbles said ‘What an amazing achievement, serving the RNLI spanning 5 decades, we’re all immensely proud to have served with Him. We’re tremendously grateful to the dedication Graham has shown, the time he and his family have given to the charity is phenomenal and without the efforts of people like this the charity would not be able to continue to save lives at sea.’
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.