Long standing Swanage volunteer retires from the RNLI after 30 years of service

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI volunteer Colin Marks joined as a volunteer lifeboat crew member on both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats in January 1993.

Swanage lifeboat crew member Colin Marks


Swanage lifeboat crew member Colin Marks

Colin completed just over 10 years of service on the inshore lifeboat, retiring from that boat in 2003 and continued on the all-weather lifeboat for a further 13 years.

During Colin’s continued volunteer service he became one of the all-weather lifeboat assistant mechanics that are on hand to monitor and maintain the lifeboat whilst at sea. That role also saw him volunteering an extra evening every week to perform maintenance of the lifeboat so that it is always ready to go to sea.

In his time as a crew member at Swanage Colin attended 300 incidents and clocked up more than 1000 hours at sea on rescues with over half of them being during the hours of darkness.

In 2016 Colin stepped down from his role on the sea going crew, but his volunteering did not stop there. Colin decided to take on a position as Deputy Launch Authority, which gave him responsibility for overseeing the lifeboat launches following the request from HM Coastguard for assistance.

Colin has given another 7 years of service in this role, taking his total service to 30 years for the RNLI.

Swanage Lifeboat Coxswain, Dave Turnbull said ‘I was fortunate to join the lifeboat crew as part of a group of new recruits that included Colin. We were recruited to be crew for the RNLI’s new D-class lifeboat. Initially the D-class came to Swanage as trial for the summer of 1993 and the trial lifeboat was then withdrawn for the winter. The inshore D-class lifeboat came back to Swanage for summer 1994 and a trial for winter 1994 until spring 1995. Following the success of the trials the new D-class lifeboat came to Swanage all year round, making Swanage a two lifeboat station.

When we joined there were a number of long serving crew to share their experience and tales of being at sea on the lifeboat. As we joined together, Colin was very much a part of my early years on the crew and the following 20 years where we went to sea regularly on both lifeboats and have also now both become some of the stations longest serving volunteers.

I have been lucky to be able to volunteer alongside Colin for so many years, to get to know his family and to have many fond and funny memories. I hope that Colin enjoys his retirement without interruptions from a pager!’

Notes to Editors

  • Photographs of Colin Marks on the Swanage Lifeboat.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Becky Mack, Swanage RNLI Volunteer Press Officer on 07812 558487 or at [email protected]

Swanage lifeboat crew member Colin Marks


Swanage lifeboat crew member Colin Marks

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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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