18 Portaferry RNLI volunteers rewarded for dedication to saving lives at sea
A group of 18 volunteers from Portaferry RNLI have been rewarded and recognised for their dedication to saving lives at sea.
At a special meal held in the coastal town on Friday night last (9 September), two crew members received a commendation letter from the RNLI for their role in a call out two years ago. Two volunteers received long service awards from the charity while 13 volunteers were presented with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee medal. Meanwhile, Patricia Browne was recognised for receiving a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her 42 years of service.
Volunteer crew members Fergal Glynn and Ian Sands were recognised for their dedication and service during a multi-agency search and exceptional delivery of casualty care rescue response two years ago when they worked to recover a casualty from the water who was sadly later pronounced deceased.
Long service awards were presented to Jeremy Rogers for 26 years and Simon Rogers for 23 years. During their service at Portaferry RNLI, they served as Inshore lifeboat crew, helmsmen and Simon also acted as the Portaferry lifeboat operations manager. Simon and Jeremy rescued 108 lives between them during their years of service.
As a token of thanks, 13 volunteers from Portaferry RNLI, Chris Adair, Sinead Breen, Colin Conway, Jordan Conway, Graham Edgar, Simon Exley, Tory Killen, Fiona Magee, John Murray, Terence O’Neill, Paddy Ritchie, Mark Stevenson and George Toma were among the 4,500 volunteers and frontline staff to be awarded a special commemorative Platinum Jubilee medal in recognition of the 65,886 lives the RNLI has saved during the Queen Elizabeth’s 70-year-reign. The commemorative medal was created to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
In June, volunteer Patricia Browne was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her 42 years of service to the RNLI. First joining the institution in 1979 at Portaferry RNLI, shortly before the town’s lifeboat station was officially established in 1980, Patricia has held the position of chair of the Portaferry Fundraising Branch for 27 years. Under her leadership, the Portaferry Fundraising Branch has raised over £221,000 for the RNLI in the last 10 years.
Speaking at Friday night’s event, Philip Johnston, Portaferry RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘As a station team, we are truly delighted and appreciative of the recognition by the charity and others, of our volunteer work in saving lives at sea. It has been a challenging few years for everyone with the pandemic so it is really wonderful that we can gather as a team tonight and reward those who have been recognised for their efforts. Their achievements are testament to their selflessness and dependability over the years and I wish to congratulate and thank them and the wider station team here in Portaferry who work tirelessly to deliver our essential lifesaving service.’
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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