Hartlepool RNLI chairman Malcolm Cook was awarded his 30 years long service award recently.
The Hartlepool Headland born 72 year old who says his first loves are his wife Marjorie, daughters Sue and Helen and 3 grandchildren but his second love is all things maritime with lifeboats at the top of the list.
Malcolm recalls his first memory of the lifeboat was as a child 'When we heard the maroon go off we would run down to the Town Wall at the Headland to watch the lifeboat launch from Middleton. I still have a great sense of pride seeing the boats and volunteer crew members launch today knowing they are heading out to sea to help someone in trouble'.
Malcolm became involved directly with the charity 30 years ago when an RNLI member nominated him to join the management committee.
Malcolm said 'Since then I have seen some amazing changes in the RNLI as technology moves on with fantastic kit for the crew, the training involved and the impressive inshore and all weather lifeboats'.
'But just as important as the crew are our Enterprise Branch fundraising team whose efforts support the volunteer crew members and I must thank the people of Hartlepool and surrounding areas who over the years have been very generous when it comes to making donations to the lifeboat and playing their part in saving lives at sea.'
Hartlepool RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Chris Hornsey said 'Malcolm's dedication to the charity over the past thirty years is outstanding and we are delighted for his award which is well deserved'.
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.
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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.