Lytham St Annes RNLI volunteer recognised in New Year’s Day Honours

Lifeboats News Release

A highly respected RNLI volunteer who has dedicated 37 years to saving lives at sea on the Fylde coast has today been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Day Honours.

David Forshaw, a highly respected RNLI volunteer who has dedicated 37 years to saving lives at sea on the Fylde coast has today been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Day Honours.

RNLI/Nathan Williams

Lytham St Annes RNLI volunteer recognised in New Year’s Day Honours

David Forshaw, an RNLI volunteer who has supported Lytham St Annes lifeboat station over the years by wearing many hats, has today been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in recognition of his charity work on the North West coast.

David first joined the RNLI as volunteer Shore Crew at Lytham St Annes lifeboat station in 1984. After 37 years of service to the lifeboat station, today he continues to support his community as a highly respected Deputy Launching Authority (DLA). Over the years his contribution to operational, leadership and fundraising activities has helped to build the charity’s profile and lifesaving effect across the Fylde coast.

As enthusiastic and motivated today as he was on his first day, he has unconditionally served no less than four volunteer Lifeboat Operations Managers, six Coxswains and the crews of five classes of all-weather lifeboats. His performance is of the highest order and stands comparison with the best traditions of the RNLI.

His leadership and team management skills were key to the success of the station when a carriage-launched lifeboat was allocated to Lytham St. Annes. In his role as DLA, he established working practices and operating procedures that ensured his team of shore crew were fully equipped to deal with the launch and recovery of the lifeboat on a challenging beach, sometimes several miles from a safe haven themselves while under the most inhospitable weather conditions.

Backed by years of experience and understanding of the hazardous waters in his area, he has consistently exceeded the demands of this important role. Calm under pressure, yet able to be firm and direct when needed, his behaviour has set an example for the many team members who have had the privilege to volunteer alongside him.

Of receiving the news of his British Empire Medal, David said:

‘It was with great surprise that I found I had been recommended for this Honour and somewhat embarrassed that it is for something I have enjoyed doing in the great organisation that is the RNLI. I am grateful for the support given by my wife Sue, my family and colleagues at the Lytham St Annes Lifeboat Station.

‘I am proud that the Honour reflects on the outstanding commitment to saving lives at sea by all the volunteers at the Lytham St Annes RNLI Station - operational, fundraising and many others - over the years since the lifeboat station was founded in 1851.’

RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie said:

‘2021 has been another summer like no another for the RNLI, with more and more people flocking to the UK and Irish coastlines. Throughout the year, our frontline teams have maintained a 24/7 lifeboat rescue service, our lifeguards have delivered a seasonal service on 247 beaches, our water safety teams have helped keep the public safe, and our fundraising and engagement teams have made sure the vital donations keep coming in to fund these essential lifesaving services.

‘I am delighted to see some of our volunteers from across the whole RNLI recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours list for their significant contribution to saving lives at sea this year. These five RNLI people embody the charity’s values of selflessness, courage, dependability and trustworthiness in everything they do, and it is particularly pleasing to see one of our longstanding lifeguards recognised in the 20th anniversary year of the RNLI lifeguard service.

‘On behalf of everyone at the RNLI, my congratulations to you all and my thanks to our thousands of other volunteers who go above and beyond for our lifesaving charity every day of the year.’

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For more information please contact Eleri Roberts, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07771 941390 or email [email protected]. Alternatively contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

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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