Port Talbot volunteer retires after 44 years of saving lives at sea

Lifeboats News Release

A well-known local man, Robbie Harris, has retired after forty-four years of helping the local voluntary emergency sectors at Port Talbot.

Robbie Harris, Port Talbot RNLI volunteer

RNLI/

Robbie Harris, Port Talbot RNLI

Robbie started his volunteering in 1976 by joining the auxiliary coastguard service and rose to be the officer in charge of the local station. In 1978 Robbie enrolled with the new RNLI lifeboat station which was opened near to the pier at Aberavon beach. During his time with the lifeboat he was awarded the Thanks of the Institution on Vellum, together with two other crew members, for saving the lives of three men from a boat off Port Talbot in very stormy conditions. He became the volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager at the new lifeboat station when it was opened in 1999.

In February 2019 he was awarded an MBE for services to the RNLI and various charities, which resulted in a visit to Buckingham Palace. Robbie then retired from the RNLI later that year after forty years of service. Recently he was again awarded with the RNLI service medal with bar, for his for his service to the RNLI.

Notes to editor

Attached is a photo of Robbie Harris with his RNLI service medal.

RNLI media contact

For more information contact Mel Cooper, Port Talbot Lifeboat Press Officer on 07814 985057. Alternatively contact Eleri Roberts, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07771 941390.

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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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