Memorable shout for long serving Poole RNLI volunteer

Lifeboats News Release

Poole Inshore lifeboat was launched by HM Coastguard just after 8pm (Monday July 10) to a report of 23ft yacht aground on Giggers Island. This shout was the 1000th call for Poole volunteer Dave Riley.


Poole volunteers Nikki, Dave and Suzie
Giggers Island is located near to the entrance of the Wareham Channel.

The vessel with one person and two dogs onboard had encountered engine failure and was anchored on the edge of the channel near to Giggers, to prevent drifting aground, he had been on passage to Wareham.

A crew member was transferred onboard to check the person (and his dogs) were okay, which they were and with light fading, the crew member attached a towline, and the D class brought the vessel back to its mooring, close to Lake Yard.

As all was well, the lifeboat returned to station, where it was refuelled and made ready for service just before 10pm.
A run of the mill job, however a memorable call out to remember for one of our volunteers as Dave Riley clocked up his 1000th shout, in his 27th year of volunteering.

From those call outs where Dave was Helm, Coxswain, or crew on the many lifeboats over the years, with other volunteers at Poole and RNLI Eastbourne, his official stats are 1239 people aided and 62 lives saved.

Just take time to consider that it in the terms of lives affected, the casualties and their loved ones, families and friends reunited and brought back safely home.

Also consider the selfless sacrifice by Dave’s ‘understanding’ family - Debs, Bethan and Amber who share their loved one, at a drop of a hat, their family life put on hold, interrupted with a pager, totally entwined with the lifeboat, thank you to them.

Volunteer Lifeboat Operation Manager Matt Thomas said: 'The RNLI recognises volunteers' length of service, a real mark of commitment. Correspondingly, recognising the number of shouts is a recognition of resilience and a willingness to respond, whatever the time, whatever the weather. It also recognises the volunteer's family and the support they have provided in reaching that mark. We are proud of all our crew and pleased that Dave has reached this milestone.

Seb Pinkard, Area Lifesaving Manager for the Southeast said: ‘The recent call out for Poole Lifeboat Station was their 74th of this year so far. This was also one crew member’s 1000th service call.

‘Dave has been volunteering for the RNLI for 27 years. Dave’s recent achievement of making his 1000th service call for the RNLI reflects his devoted commitment over the years.

‘As an organisation which relies on volunteers, we are extremely grateful for his and every volunteer’s time given to help those in need on our coastlines and inland waterways.

‘This is a great achievement Dave, thanks for all that you and your fellow volunteers do for the RNLI.
Thanks for your contribution to saving lives at sea.'

Dave Riley said: ‘I feel incredibly proud to have had an impact on so many lives, however, on each and every call I’ve been on, it’s been a team effort alongside many other dedicated volunteers - a team of like minded people with many I now call my friends.’

RNLI/Nathan Williams

Poole RNLI volunteer Dave Riley

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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