Changing roles for Llandudno's full-time RNLI Station Mechanic
After 20 years as Llandudno RNLI full-time mechanic Les Jones has decided to stand down from the 5 April. He will be handing over his professional duties to Luke Heritage who has been a volunteer crew member since 2011.
Les had recently received an Award from the RNLI to recognise his dedicated service as a member of the town's lifeboat crew for over thirty years. He first volunteered for the crew in early 1986, working his way up to assistant mechanic before being appointed to the post of full-time Station Mechanic in 1999. He will now continue as a volunteer member of crew as an assistant coxswain and mechanic.
Les explained: ‘although it is the end of my professional life with the RNLI, I am delighted that I can continue as a volunteer coxswain and mechanic whenever I am needed’.
New Station Mechanic Luke has gained vast experience with the Llandudno lifeboat. He is a helm for the inshore lifeboat, and a navigator and mechanic when serving on the all-weather Shannon lifeboat.
‘I can't wait to start. Les' shoes will be difficult to fill but I will do everything I can to ensure that our lifeboats and equipment continue to be maintained to the same high standard, ensuring that each bit of equipment is working efficiently and is readily available for service whenever it is called upon’.
RNLI full-time Mechanics contribute to the operational effectiveness of the station through the operation, maintenance and repair of associated machinery and equipment. As such, a large amount of their working day involves ensuring the lifeboat and equipment work to the highest order. They have experience of maintaining high-speed diesel engines and the associated electrical and electronic systems of fast, modern lifeboats like the William F Yates Shannon lifeboat which is based at Llandudno.
Captain Marcus Elliott Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘It’s a tremendous achievement by Les, he has given a huge part of his life to Llandudno RNLI and we are all very proud and honoured to have him as a trusted colleague. We are also very proud that one of our own volunteers Luke is now stepping up to continue in the role. Luke’s appointment is very well deserved, and I have every confidence that he too will be a great asset to Llandudno Lifeboat Station for many years to come’.
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.