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RNLI Chief Executive presents award to Hartlepool RNLI crew member

Lifeboats News Release

Hartlepool RNLI crewmember Matt Blanchard received his 20 year long service award from the RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie recently

RNLI/Tom Collins

RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie presenting volunteer crew member Matt Blanchard with his long service award at the Ferry Road lifeboat station.
Speaking to the volunteers gathered at the Ferry Road boathouse RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie said 'Id like to thank you all for what you've done in the past 18 months.
Its been an absolute pleasure meeting the crew and station officials who like their counterparts across the RNLI do an amazing job playing there part in saving lives at sea.
During his visit he presented crew member Matt Blanchard with his 20 years long service medal and congratulated the 42 year old for his commitment to the charity.

Matt who is a helm for the inshore lifeboat and 2nd coxswain for the all weather lifeboat
Matt said 'The years have simply flown by and I've enjoyed every minute especially this year as myself and wife Clare are now parents to our son Innes who was born a few weeks ago and is keeping us both busy. Four years ago I was lucky to join the RNLI as an assessor trainer so basically I teach the volunteers how to save lives at sea which is very rewarding.
Matt who joined the RNLI whilst working at an outdoor activities centre at the Hartlepool Marina has many memories of rescues but summed up those moments by saying 'I'm just happy to go out there and do what we have to do and come back safely with the crew and casualty'.
Hartlepool RNLI coxswain Robbie Maiden said 'Matt's dedication and professionalism over the years has been a credit to the RNLI and his fellow crewmembers. Not only does Matt teach the volunteers lifesaving skills he is on call with the rest of the crew at Hartlepool to drop everything at a moments notice when the pagers go off and help those in danger at sea.'

RNLI/Tom Collins

RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie presenting volunteer crew member Matt Blanchard with his long service award at the Ferry Road lifeboat station.

RNLI/Tom Collins

RNLI volunteer crew member Matt Blanchard.

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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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.

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