RNLI Weston-super-Mare appoints new Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager

Lifeboats News Release

The charity that is dedicated to saving lives at sea, have appointed Bleadon resident Chris Ware, who takes on the volunteer operational role from Mike Buckland, who is standing down after 4 years leading the team from their temporary lifeboat station on Knightstone Plaza.

Mike Buckland right hands station keys to Chris Ware in front of temporary station

RNLI/Glyn Hayes

Mike will continue his work with the wider team on developing plans to return Weston’s lifeboat station to Birnbeck Island.

Area Lifesaving Manager, Andy Wright, expressed his gratitude to Mike by saying:

‘Mike has been a passionate advocate for the lifesaving operations at Weston for over 20 years as boat crew, helm and most recently Lifeboat Operations Manager. I am excited that he will still be involved as he supports the RNLI’s work to establish a permanent base for our Weston crew. I would like to thank him for all his efforts and commitment to the charity, and I look forward to continuing to collaborate with him on the Birnbeck project.’

Chris has already begun his induction and training with Mike’s support and is looking forward to the challenge of managing a busy lifeboat station.

Chris is a retired Avon and Somerset Police Superintendent who spent most of his career in uniformed operational roles. He was the inaugural manager of the police helicopter unit and worked in the operational planning department, planning, and supervising numerous major and Royal events across both counties. In 2010 he was awarded the prestigious Queens Police Medal for services to operational policing. Chris is an enthusiastic supporter of the RNLI for over 50 years and is extremely pleased to be taking on the operational role, leading the thirty-five volunteers who provide the vital services at one of the countries busiest lifeboat stations.

The team currently work out of a temporary lifeboat station adjacent to Marine Lake but hope to move back to Birnbeck Island in the future once the long-term future of the pier is resolved.

On retiring from the police, Chris became the Head of Security at Bristol Airport, before undertaking a number of consultancy roles working with the Home Office and a number of agencies on the soon to be introduced Emergency Services Communications Network.

He was until recently a Trustee at Aerospace Bristol during the development of the Museum and hopes that his emergency services operational experience together with his role in other volunteer-based organisations will be an asset to the RNLI Weston-super-Mare lifeboat crew.

Speaking about his excitement and passion for the role, Chris said:

‘I first developed my passion and interest for the RNLI like many people as a child watching Blue Peter. I have always supported events and initiatives when I could, but to now be able to take a more involved role in assisting and supporting the operations at Weston is a huge honour and privilege.’

Chris Ware the new LOM

RNLI/Glyn Hayes

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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