Manx RNLI volunteers travel to London for double accolade

Lifeboats News Release

Port St Mary RNLI Coxswain Mike Keggen and Helm Richard Leigh were presented with two very special awards at charity’s AGM last week


Port St Mary RNLI Coxswain Mike Keggen and Helm Richard Leigh were presented with two very special awards at charity’s AGM last week

Mike Keggen was presented with a long-service award in recognition of almost 50 years’ service to the charity, whilst Richard Leigh was presented with a RNLI Bronze Medal. The presentations were made by RNLI Chair Janet Legrand.

Mike Keggen joined the Port St Mary crew as a volunteer at the age of 18, crewing the station’s 47ft Watson all-weather lifeboat. He also crewed and helmed the inshore lifeboat for 26 years up until 1999. He qualified as all-weather lifeboat mechanic in 1987 and served as emergency mechanic for 12 years on the port’s 54ft Arun class. He currently serves on the station’s Trent class lifeboat as coxswain, a position he’s held since 2001.

His example and dedication to the service has led to his daughter Sarah Keggen joining the crew and with his support, she has now become Port St Mary RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager. Sarah says:

‘Throughout his voluntary service, my dad has been involved with over 295 service calls mainly all-weather but also including the inshore lifeboat. He has also attended many more without actually going to sea. For these services he has turned out in all weathers and at all hours to uphold the RNLI’s tradition of saving lives at sea. This has been recognised on one occasion with a framed letter of thanks for the saving of three lives from a sinking vessel the Tummi Jo II in 2004.

‘This award was a complete surprise to him as he thought he was going to London to support Richard, we’re delighted his hard work has been recognised in this way.’

The Bronze Medal was presented to helm Richard Leigh in recognition of his superb boat handling, seamanship, and courage during the rescue of a yacht in rough seas in very demanding circumstances in 2021. The station celebrated the announcement last year and Richard was delighted to travel to London to receive this recognition. This was the first time a gallantry medal has been awarded to Port St Mary RNLI.

The dramatic rescue on 6 November 2021 involved both of the station’s lifeboats. During the rescue, the volunteer crew demonstrated exceptional teamwork and skilled boat handling in adverse conditions that threatened all three lives on board a yacht.

Sarah Keggan, RNLI Lifeboat Operations at Port St Mary says:

‘As a station we are thrilled Richard was invited to London to receive this prestigious award. This was a very difficult rescue in very changeable weather conditions. I am so very proud of all the crew who demonstrated great teamwork.’

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For more information, please contact Danielle Rush, RNLI Media Relations Manager in Wales, the North West and Isle of Man on 07886 668829. Alternatively, please call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336 789 or email [email protected].

Notes to editors

Full details and footage of the rescue can be found here: Bronze Medal and commendations for Port St Mary RNLI for saving three lives | RNLI


Helm Richard Leigh is congratulated by RNLI Chair Janet Legrand.


Mike is congratulated by RNLI Chair Janet Legrand


RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie addressed the AGM in London

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