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Long service awards for Whitstable RNLI lifeboat volunteers

Lifeboats News Release

A number of volunteers at the Whitstable lifeboat station have been presented with long service awards by the RNLI over the last few weeks.

David 'Larry' Lamberton who has been presented with a 50-year long service award from the RNLI.

RNLI/Chris Davey

David 'Larry' Lamberton who has been presented with a 50-year long service award from the RNLI.
The list is headed by David 'Larry' Lamberton who has received a 50-year medal. A founder member of the station when it was formed in 1963 he has served as crewmember, helmsman, deputy launching authority and honorary secretary (a role now known as lifeboat operations manager) and, following his retirement from that position in 2003 he carried on as boathouse manager and latterly a fundraiser.

Larry has seen the station grow from its humble beginnings as a summertime only station with one of the small 'D' Class lifeboats operated from a small shed on The Longbeach through to its current status with a modern boathouse and the latest Atlantic 85 lifeboat.

Larry has been involved in countless lifeboat services in his years afloat or in a managerial capacity and modestly says 'There have been some good times and by the nature of the service the occasional sad event'.

Other long service awards have been presented to current Lifeboat Operations Manager Mike Judge who followed his father into the crew and has served as crewmember and helmsman taking over from Larry Lamberton as operations manager in 2003. He has received a 40-year award whilst younger brother Richard who again followed the family tradition into the lifeboat has received a 30-year award, again having served as crew and helmsman.

Station Deputy Launching Authority and former helmsman Brian Hadler has also received a 40-year award and a 30-year award has gone to former crew member, helmsman and current boathouse manager Ray Page. Mark Laming, former crewmember and now Chairman of the Whitstable Lifeboat Management Group has received a 20-year award.

Another recipient of a 40-year award has been Dr Terry Steffani who has served as the stations Honorary Medical Advisor and since retiring as a local GP is currently Casualty Care Co-ordinator. Dr Steffani is well known as the devisor of the station's 'Dan Davies' seamanship and first aid competition a very tough test of the crews skills which has been held for many year's in memory of the first station medical advisor.

Away from the seagoing side of the station Margaret Foreman has been presented with a 40-year service award for her efforts with the fundraising branch of the station. Margaret has been a stalwart of the station since the 1970's and at 88 can still be found busy working in the station souvenir shop and cafe. Station Press Officer Chris Davey has also received a 20-year award.

Allen Head, RNLI Area Life Saving Manager said “The awards are a tribute to the dedication of our long standing volunteers that they have served the station and RNLI so well in either seagoing or shore based positions . The station and RNLI are most grateful for their time and effort as we are with all of our volunteers both shore based and afloat”.

Notes to editors

Whitstable RNLI Lifeboat Station was established in 1963 by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and is one of 237 lifeboat stations around the shores of the UK and Ireland. The volunteer crews provide a maritime search and rescue service for the Kent coast. They cover the area between the Kingsferry Bridge on the Swale, in the west, around the south-eastern side of Sheppey and along the coast through Whitstable and Herne Bay to Reculver in the east and outwards into the Thames Estuary.

The station is equipped with an Atlantic 85 lifeboat named Lewisco, purchased through a bequest of a Miss Lewis of London who passed away in 2006.

She is what is known as a rigid inflatable inshore lifeboat, the boat’s rigid hull being topped by an inflatable sponson. She carries a crew of four people.

RNLI media contacts

  • Chris Davey, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Whitstable Lifeboat Station.
    07741 012004/ [email protected]

  • Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer London/southeast/east Tel: 0207 6207416 Mob: (07785) 296252 [email protected]

For enquiries outside normal business hours, contac

Margaret Foreman who at 88 can still be found at work in the Whitstable RNLI shop has received a 40-year long service award from the RNLI. Picture:RNLI Whitstable. LB RAY:

RNLI/Chris Davey

Margaret Foreman who at 88 can still be found at work in the Whitstable RNLI shop has received a 40-year long service award from the RNLI. Picture:RNLI Whitstable. LB RAY:

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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