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Dungeness RNLI volunteer receives British Empire Medal

Lifeboats News Release

On Tuesday 7 November, Judith Richardson, long-serving volunteer at Dungeness RNLI lifeboat station, received her British Empire Medal in recognition of 56 years of service to the charity.

Phil Lee Photographics

Judith Richardson BEM with her medal
The investiture was held at Knole House in Sevenoaks and Judith received her medal from His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, The Lady Colgrain.

Judith’s medal recognises her service to the RNLI and to Dungeness Lifeboat Station where she began her volunteer role at the age of 20 as a ‘Lady Launcher’. The ‘Lady Launchers’ were predominantly the wives and female family members of the lifeboat crew and were responsible for launching and recovering the lifeboat in all weathers while their husbands went to sea.

Over the years, Judith embraced many other roles including fundraising and also spent time taking the charity’s water safety roadshow across the country to various events alongside her late-husband William, who had retired as Coxswain of the station.

Judith’s most recent role was Lifeboat Press Officer where she was responsible for overseeing the media enquiries for the lifeboat station and promoting the excellent work of the volunteers.

Vicky Morgan, Lifeboat Operations Manager, says:

‘Judith remains a key part of the lifeboat station to this day and is respected and loved by all the volunteers here. Her history at the station and wealth of experience, as well as her passion for the RNLI is an inspiration to the volunteers, both old and new.

The station is thrilled that she has been recognised in this way, the medal is very well deserved.’

If you are interested in volunteering for Dungeness RNLI Lifeboat Station, we have a number or roles available both afloat and shore based. Please contact the station on 01797 320317 or [email protected] if you would like to take on a new challenge and become part of the charity that saves lives at sea.

Notes to Editors

· Dungeness lifeboat station has been running since 1826.

· The station received the first Shannon-class lifeboat in the RNLI fleet – The Morrell

· The station is famous for its Lady Launchers, local women and wives of the crew who helped launch the lifeboat until 1977.


RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Sarah Beck, Dungeness Lifeboat Press Officer on [email protected] or 07956 615429, Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer on 07785 296252 or [email protected] or alternatively, Regional Media Manager Julie Rainey on 07827 358256 or [email protected]. RNLI Press Office is available 24/7 365 days a year on 01202 336789.

Phil Lee Photographics

Judith receiving her medal from from His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, The Lady Colgrain

Phil Lee Photographics

Judith alongside her two sons, both coxswains of Dungeness lifeboat

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.