Thurso RNLI William (Wing) Munro is honoured for 50 years service
Wing was presented with a medal by RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager, marking 50 years dedicated and loyal service to RNLI, along with the Queen's Platinum Jubilee medal, at Thurso RNLI's open day (Sunday 28 August) A new searchlight for the lifeboat The Taylors was also dedicated to him.
Wing was still a teenager when he joined the RNLI in January 1970 and he served as full-time coxswain from January 2002 until November 2017. He is still with the RNLI as deputy launching authority for Thurso lifeboat.
He has taken part in countless shouts and has been involved in some of the most notable rescues undertaken by the Thurso crew.
He has received multiple awards from the RNLI. These include the Thanks of the Institution on Vellum following the rescue of the scallop boat Aztec in Loch Eriboll in 1997 and a bronze certificate in the aftermath of the Multitank Ascania incident in 1999.
The burning chemical tanker had been drifting out of control towards Dunnet Head until Thurso lifeboat established a tow. The RNLI's inspector of lifeboats for Scotland said in his report at the time that the incident could have involved loss of life and a major ecological disaster.
Wing, who will be 70 in November, was succeeded as coxswain by his brother Dougie and he has three nephews among the Thurso crew.
At the time of Wing's retirement as coxswain at the age of 65, the then RNLI chief executive, Paul Boissier, said: “Wing’s unwavering support has seen him attend hundreds of call-outs, ultimately making a real difference to people’s lives. This huge amount of hard work and loyalty is both inspiring and humbling and the institution is incredibly grateful for such commitment to saving lives at sea.”
The open day at Scrabster attracted a large crowd, with visitors having the opportunity to take tours of the Thurso and Longhope lifeboats.
The event also featured coastguard and mountain rescue teams, the fire and ambulance services, the Scottish SPCA and Mina Mackay's Highland dancers. An RNLI shop was available and crew members provided a barbecue.
Thurso RNLI press officer Ron Gunn said We had a great turnout for our RNLI open day. A big thank-you to the emergency services, local charities and Mina Mackay's Highland dancers for making the day a success.
A special mention to the Thurso lifeboat crew and committee for supplying the refreshments and barbecue.
A number of other RNLI crew and committee members were presented with long service and Queen's Platinum Jubilee medals.
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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