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Special Award Recognises Commitment of Longstanding Lifeboat Volunteer

Lifeguards News Release

The annual award of Aberystwyth RNLI’s “John James Award for Outstanding Commitment” has been awarded to longstanding volunteer Geraint Wheler in recognition of his 43 years of service at Aberystwyth Lifeboat Station.

RNLI/Paul McCann

Geraint receiving award from Station Chairman Mark Morgan (masks removed for photo and social distancing maintained)

Geraint joined the RNLI in 1978, serving as a lifeboat crew member and later as Senior Helmsman serving on the C-Class lifeboat, B-Class Atlantic 21 and Atlantic 75 Lifeboat “Enid Mary.”

Geraint’s involvement has continued as Deputy Launching Authority and member of the Stations ‘Management Committee and he has recently been appointed as Station Administration Officer; a new role introduced to manage the increased administration now required in the daily management of the lifeboat station.

Speaking of the award Station Chairman Mark Morgan MNM reinforce “I am pleased to announce the award of the John James Award for Outstanding Commitment to Geraint, who as been a key member of Aberystwyth Lifeboat Station for many years, demonstrating outstanding commitment and dedication in his voluntary role. I congratulate Geraint on the award of this prestigious award which is greatly deserved. “

The ‘John James award for Outstanding Commitment” was created in memory of Aberystwyth Lifeboat Crewmember John James, who lost his life on 20 February 1877. The crew of the Aberystwyth pulling lifeboat ‘Lady Haberfield’ was sent to aid an Irish schooner, the Sarah Ellen, which had been caught in a storm and had dropped anchor near ‘The Patches’ off Aberystwyth. Following a protracted and difficult rescue John James died of extreme cold and exhaustion, the lifeboat brining the rescued schooner safely to Aberystwyth harbour.

RNLI/Paul McCann

Geraint at helm of Atlantic 75 Enid Mary in 2002

RNLI/Paul McCann

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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