Forty year RNLI Service Medal Presented to Berwick-upon-Tweed DLA
Deputy Launching Authority Michael Ross, of Berwick-upon-Tweed RNLI has been presented with a 40 years Long Service Medal by Lifeboat Operations Manager Kevin Knox.
Michael has actually been part of Berwick-upon-Tweed lifeboat station for 47 years. Having previously served on the station's inshore and offshore lifeboats, rising through the ranks to the position of Second Coxswain on our old Mersey lifeboat.
He is part of the RNLI Station Management Team and is Deputy Launching Authority, (DLA), providing leadership in the absence of Lifeboat Operations Manager.
When someone calls 999 and asks for the H M Coastguard, the Coastguard then request assistance from the relevant lifeboat station. It is then the duty of either the Lifeboat Operations Manager or the Deputy Launching Authority to authorise the correct lifeboat to deal with the rescue in saving lives at sea.
Michael said: ‘I feel so proud to receive a 40 year medal on behalf of myself and family from the RNLI.
'I joined Berwick-upon-Tweed lifeboat station after being a lifeguard with the Royal National Lifesaving Society as I thought it was a possible step forward. On joining the Crew of Berwick-upon-Tweed RNLI I first served on the D Class lifeboat.'
'In those days the D Class lifeboat was stored at the local yacht club and only operated in the summer months. In 1976 the D-Class lifeboat and the Watson offshore vessel were both withdrawn and replaced by an Atlantic 21 lifeboat, this giving 24-hour cover, in saving lives at sea. The Atlantic 21 lifeboat was slipway launched on a trailer from the lifeboat station.'
He added: 'I continued to crew the Atlantic 21 as a helmsman and was appointed Second Coxswain of the Mersey Class Lifeboat, the, ‘Joy and Charles Beeby’, when she arrived in 1993.'
He left as boat Crew in 2000 and returned to the lifeboat station as a ‘DLA’ Deputy Launching Authority, and has held the post ever since.
Michael said: 'The RNLI lifeboat service has given me many enjoyable hours as a volunteer, although not all the service calls have had a good outcome.
'I have received two letters of commendation for service calls, a Long Service Badge for 22 years, a Certificate of Service for 26 years, a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee medal and my 40 year long service medal.
'One of my most memorable occasions was to rescue three crew from the fishing vessel White Heather V, on the 19 of April 1983 with the Atlantic 21 lifeboat. The vessel hit the sand on the bar entering Berwick harbour at Spittal Point and was pounded by a heavy sea with waves breaking right over her at times. When attending rescues you never know what the outcome will entail. This one was very scary, but at the time you don’t think about it as your adrenaline kicks in.’
Lifeboat Operation Manager Kevin Knox said, ‘Michael took me out on my very first lifeboat trip and my very first shout, on our old Mersey lifeboat and has been a huge help in not just training myself but so many other Crew members.
It was a very proud moment for me to be able to present Michael his 40 years Service Medal and thanks also go to his wife Brenda and family who have stood by and supported Michael in his lifetime of continuous commitment to Berwick -upon-Tweed RNLI.
Michael, from all of us at Berwick-upon-Tweed RNLI lifeboat station, a massive thank you for, all you continue to do for us in helping support us in saving lives at sea, we are so proud of you.’
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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