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RNLI honours Oban stalwart

Lifeboats News Release

A member of the crew of Oban’s first lifeboat has been recognised with the award of the RNLI’s fifty year medal.

Mike Robertson stands holding his medal flanked by RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie, Oban branch chair Ian Henry and members of the current seagoing crew.

RNLI/Stephen Lawson

Mike Robertson (with medal) is congratulated by RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie (second from right), Oban branch chair Ian Henry (third from left) and members of the current seagoing crew on over 50 years’ service.

Retired lawyer Mike Robertson was presented with the award by the RNLI’s Chief Executive Mark Dowie on a visit to Oban lifeboat station.

Mike served from 1972 to 2000, before going on to become Deputy Launch Authority, press officer, fundraising chair and, until recently, Oban lifeboat branch chair and a member of the Scottish Council of the RNLI.

Mike said he was delighted to receive an award for doing something he loved:

‘It has been a privilege to be a member of the lifeboat family for the last 50 years. When I joined, we had small children and now we have a new generation of lifeboat crew and when we have a get together there are children running around. It is the lifeboat family that matters.’

By the time he stood down from the sea-going crew and stepped into the role of Deputy Launch Authority, Mike had completed several hundred shouts:

‘One of the most memorable was in 1985 when the fishing vessel Shemara went aground in high winds at nighttime on Lady Rock off the south end of Lismore.

‘We were in a Brede class lifeboat, the Ann Ritchie. Thanks to the skills of the Coxswain Patrick Maclean, over many approaches, we managed to get the eight people off safely.

‘Patrick was awarded a Service of Merit badge and Billy Forteith, David Graham and I were also received Service Certificates. We were even invited to the annual nautical awards in London and found we’d won gold medal!’

Paying tribute to his service, Mark Dowie said to Mike:

‘I don't get to present many of these 50 Year medals. It's a pretty special one to receive.

‘50 years of service to the lifeboat represents an amazing commitment. Thank you very much indeed for everything you've done for the RNLI and in particular for Oban.

Notes to Editor

Oban is a busy station serving one of the largest stretches of coastline in the UK, flanked by RNLI colleagues based at Tobermory, Islay and Campbeltown.

The Oban volunteer crew operate the Trent Class All Weather lifeboat Mora Edith MacDonald from our base at the South Pier on Gallanach Road, close to the CalMac ferry terminal.

RNLI Media Contacts

For further information, please contact:

John Macgill Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Oban RNLI on 07711 548672 or email [email protected]

Stephen Lawson Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Oban RNLI on 07776 340629 or email [email protected]

Natasha Bennett, Regional Media Officer (Scotland), on 07826 900639 [email protected]

Martin Macnamara, Regional Media Manager (Scotland), on 07920 365929 or [email protected]

RNLI Press Office 01202 336789 or [email protected]

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.