Newquay lifeboat volunteer receives MBE for nearly five decades’ service to RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Having been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours and made a Member of the Order of the British Empire last year, Newquay RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Gareth Horner attended Windsor Castle on Tuesday (15 March 2022) and was presented with his MBE by HRH Anne, Princess Royal.

Since joining Newquay lifeboat station as a volunteer in 1974, Gareth has served in various roles, as lifeboat crew, shore crew, launch authority and for the last 18-years, lifeboat operations manager, responsible for authorising the launch of Newquay’s two inshore lifeboats on emergency calls and overseeing the day to day operations at one of Cornwall’s busiest lifeboat stations, whose crews have saved more than 100 lives and assisted hundreds more during Gareth’s years of service at the station.

After a busy week for Newquay RNLI, which saw the lifeboat crew respond to four calls in three days, Gareth was back on duty at the lifeboat station on Sunday morning, welcoming an RNLI supporter undertaking a nine-week nationwide tour of 182 lifeboat stations and said: ‘My investiture was a truly unforgettable day and we were looked after with great kindness and professionalism by all of the staff and officials.

I have been happy to carry out my duties to the best of my abilities and the only rewards I have ever sought have been the satisfaction of a job well done, the safety of my fellow lifeboat crew members and those we seek to rescue, and the promotion of an exceptional institution in the RNLI.

Along the way, I have had the privilege of meeting and working with some of the finest people imaginable. I was totally taken aback by the news of this award and even more surprised by the all messages of support and congratulations that I received following the announcement last June. It has been the most heart-warming and uplifting experience and I would like to thank everyone for their kindness and love.

None of it would have happened without the love, support and understanding from my wife, Shirley, who like all partners of RNLI volunteers, is an unsung hero of the charity and was alongside me at Windsor Castle for the investiture.

I am one small cog in the machine that is the RNLI and Newquay lifeboat station and this award reflects the hard work and dedication of the whole team at Newquay, who quietly and without fuss remain on call 24 hours a day to save lives at sea. Without them I would have never been nominated in the first place or achieved what we have together as a station’.

Notes to editors
The attached pictures shows Lifeboat Operations Manager, Gareth Horner at Newquay lifeboat station with his MBE award. Credit: Newquay RNLI/Andy Hobkinson.

Newquay lifeboat station opened in 1860 and today’s RNLI volunteers operate two inshore lifeboats and are on call 24-hours-a-day to save lives at sea.

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For more information please contact Andy Hobkinson, Newquay RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, email: [email protected] or mobile: 07880 507464 or Emma Haines, Regional Media Officer at [email protected]
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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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