St Ives RNLI celebrate and give thanks for 47 years of amazing voluntary service

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteers really are at the core of the RNLI and are the reason we are able to continue to provide our life saving service. There are many different volunteer roles and all of them are key to ensure we can answer the call for help.

RNLI/Simon Ashmore

Pictured (Left to Right) are James Perkin (Lifeboat Operations Manager), Nigel Green (2nd Tractor Driver), Joan Tanner (Fundraising Team Chair), William Paynter, Martin Mason (Admin Officer), Mike Hicks, (Lifeboat Chairman), Robin Langford (2nd Coxswain/ Mechanic), Simon Ashmore (Deputy Launching Authority)

St Ives RNLI Volunteer William Paynter was this week presented with his vellum having served as shore crew at St Ives Lifeboat station for 47 years. Shore crew provide a vital link in the chain, by launching and recovering the lifeboat, and making sure it is ready for the next call.

Since joining the shore crew in 1972 William has been involved in hundreds of service launches and during his service at St Ives the Lifeboat rescued 411 lives at sea.

William was presented with his vellum by Lifeboat Operations Manager James Perkin.

Despite having reached retirement age from the shore crew, William is continuing to work as a volunteer as part of the fundraising team. He puts his encyclopaedic knowledge of the station, its equipment and personalities past and present to good use whilst collecting from members of the public during exercise launches and as such is an important link between the station and the town it serves. As part of the station’s commitment to meet its environmental obligations, William is also managing the recycling programme.

On presenting William with his Vellum, and a picture of St Ives all-weather lifeboat The Nora Stachura, a gift signed by the volunteer crew, Lifeboat Operations Manager James Perkin said: “Volunteers like William are the backbone of the station and in turning out at all times of the day and night to help our lifeboats and their crews to safely launch and recover, he has been an invaluable part of our work saving lives at sea. We are really pleased that he has been able to continue to volunteer as part of our fundraising team as after so many years working for the station, we would be very sorry to lose him.

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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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.

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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.