Campbeltown RNLI sees local charity volunteer become full-time lifeboat coxswain
Ruaridh McAulay is ready for a life at home with his family as he is appointed the full-time coxswain position in his home town at Campbeltown RNLI.
After joining the RNLI in 2016 as a lifeboat volunteer, Ruaridh McAulay sets his eyes to a new career as Campbeltown RNLI’s full-time coxswain.
Originally from Campbeltown, Ruaridh finished school and headed to Stornoway for college studies where he gained his officer of the watch certificate. When asking Ruaridh about his college studies he said: ‘I met some awesome people studying in Stornoway and afterwards it led me on to attending Glasgow Maritime College.’
For as long as he can remember, Ruaridh always wished for a career at sea. He always had a fascination with all things on or around the sea. In his previous job, he was on-board Cefas Endeavour for 10 years, where he started off as an able seaman then worked his way up to a second mate and safety officer.
When asking Ruaridh about his life working at sea he said: ‘Working away from home has always been enjoyable and it made coming home that bit more special.’
Clare Lamont, Ruaridh’s partner introduced him to the RNLI as she was a volunteer for the charity. Knowing his love for the sea, she thought he would enjoy the experience when he had time off back at home.
Clare joined the life-saving charity in 2014, with Ruaridh joining later in 2016 aged 27. Clare stood down from the lifeboat crew after the exciting news that they were expecting their first child together, they now have two beautiful children. Ruaridh goes on to say: ‘As I got older, I always missed home a bit more, especially after meeting my partner Clare and having our two wonderful children. So, when the opportunity came up to work from home doing something I love, it was an easy choice for me to make.’
Ruaridh also expressed that not only does the new post offer more time at home to see his loved ones but also, ‘This is a chance for me to test myself in new ways and push myself to do things I never believed was possible.’
Coxswain Ruaridh was talking about his experience working at sea and said: ‘If you are looking to have a career at sea, it can be a lot of hard work but if you’re willing to put in the hours it can be such an amazing experience.’ He goes on to say: ‘You could have the chance to see parts of the world you can’t imagine and working with amazing people from all over the world as well.’
When we asked Ruaridh what he has learnt from the RNLI so far he said: ‘I have learnt that volunteer lifeboat crew members throughout the RNLI come from all different walks of life and experiences. Some have previous experience working at sea and others do not, but they all have the same goal – saving lives at sea.’
Ruaridh stated he is ‘excited to take over and lead a dynamic and experienced crew that has been superbly trained by my predecessor David Cox.’ Ready for a new chapter Ruaridh says: ‘I will miss some of the amazing crew members that I have been fortunate enough to work with over the years and getting the opportunity to travel to places in the UK that I have never heard of before. However, I am very excited about my new career with the RNLI to have the opportunity to work from my home port on an amazing piece of equipment that is our Severn class all-weather lifeboat Ernest and Mary Shaw.’
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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