Volunteer recognised for his lifesaving work

Lifeboats News Release

Geoff Vian has been volunteering for the RNLI since 2015 and has been helping to save lives ever since.

Geoff is pictured (right) with Dave Slack our volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager, presenting him with his Excellence in Volunteering letter and beautiful award.

RNLI/Helen Lazenby

Geoff is pictured (right) with Dave Slack our volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager, presenting him with his Excellence in Volunteering letter and beautiful award.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit and stopped us all in our tracks Geoff decided that he needed to continue his lifesaving work which has been recognised by our RNLI Director of Lifesaving Operations, John Payne.

Whilst the volunteer crew were continuing to respond to the pager during the pandemic, all other volunteers were told to stay and home and protect the NHS. The shop closed and all visits to the lifeboat station stopped so that we could protect our crew volunteers who continued to save lives at sea.

Geoff thought there must be something he can do so, he took to his computer and wrote to schools and groups to see if they would like an RNLI ‘virtual’ water safety talk as he was no longer able to visit them in person. He didn’t look back and all through the lockdown period Geoff single handedly spoke to over 4,100 young people and adults.

Dave Slack, volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager said ‘Geoff is a man of many talents, who works effectively alongside the operational crew, in everything that we do and in line with the RNLI ethos of us being ‘One Crew’, I was only too pleased to nominate him for this Excellence in Volunteering award. I am really proud of Geoff’s achievements and it is fantastic to see his hard work being recognised with this wonderful award, which is very much deserved. We cannot thank him enough for what he does for our community locally, and now across the country too!’

Geoff wears many hats as an RNLI volunteer here in Portishead, alongside his water safety messaging with the education team, he is our Treasurer, a fundraiser, a shop volunteer and our station visits co-ordinator. He is also one of the team behind the amazing Beach Buddies. A puppet theatre set up with Jon Yabsley (sadly now retired), designed to entertain young children whilst giving crucial water safety advice.

If you would like Geoff to visit you or give you a virtual talk just email us here at portishead@rnli.org.uk and we will put you in touch. The station are currently recruiting, for other volunteers, can you spare a few hours a month. Check our social media pages Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or the main RNLI site https://rnli.org/support-us/volunteer

#SavingLivesAtSea #rnlivolunteers #RespectTheWater #ProudOfOurCrowd

Notes to editors

All images are ©RNLI Portishead

1 - Geoff is pictured (right) with Dave Slack our volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager, presenting him with his Excellence in Volunteering letter and beautiful award.

2 - Geoff with his letter

3 – Geoff and Dave at the lifeboat station

4 – Geoff with his glass award

5 – Geoff although you can’t see him, with the Beach Buddies!

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Helen Lazenby, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07800 595995, helen_lazenby@rnli.org.uk, Scott Eggins volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer on 07539 270063, scott_eggins@rnli.org.uk or the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

RNLI online

For more information, please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the RNLI News Centre.

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.

Geoff with his letter

RNLI/Helen Lazenby

Geoff with his letter
Geoff and Dave at the lifeboat station

RNLI/Helen Lazenby

Geoff and Dave at the lifeboat station
Geoff with his glass award

RNLI/Helen Lazenby

Geoff with his glass award
Geoff although you can’t see him, with the Beach Buddies!

RNLI/Helen Lazenby

Geoff although you can’t see him, with the Beach Buddies!

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.