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Long service medal for Hunstanton RNLI volunteer Vic Dade

Lifeboats News Release

A Norfolk RNLI volunteer has been awarded a long service medal after more than 40 years' devotion to the charity that saves lives at sea.

RNLI/Chris Bishop

Vic Dade (right) receives his RNLI long service medal from Hunstanton Lifeboat Operations Manager Rigil Kent
Victor Dade, now 62, joined the crew at Hunstanton as a 17-year-old soon after the station reopened in 1979.

Since then Vic has crewed on both the station's inshore lifeboats and its hovercraft, which arrived in 2003.

He has continued his commitment as a plant operator, driving and maintaining the tractor used to launch and recover both vessels to the present day.

Forestry worker Vic, who lives near the station, was presented with his award by Hunstanton Lifeboat Operations Manager Rigil Kent at a crew meeting on Sunday, 1 October.

'It's an absolutely massive achievement,' Rigil said. 'Thank you for everything you've done and continue to do for the station'.

Vic said: 'They were advertising for people and I just thought why not, so I joined up. I originally joined up as a tractor driver and it just progressed from there. I guess it's just become part of me'.

Editor's notes

Since Hunstanton's current station opened in 1979, its inshore lifeboat Spirit of West Norfolk and her predecessors have helped save 140 lives and render assistance to more than 600 people who found themselves in difficulty or in danger.

In 2003, she was joined by the hovercraft Hunstanton Flyer, which has since then been launched 250 times, saved 13 lives and assisted a further 150 people.

The station is one of just four around the coastline who operate a hovercraft.

The volunteer crew train constantly to meet the challenges they face ranging from people cut off by the tide, to assisting vessels in difficulty and those aboard them or searching for missing persons.

They are supported by volunteers including launch crew, shore crew and tractor drivers, along with the station's visits team, shore safety team, souvenir shop staff and members of the Hunstanton Lifeboat Guild who organise fund raising events.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please call Chris Bishop, Hunstanton RNLI volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer on 07584 147219 or Clare Hopps, Regional Media Officer on 07824 518641.

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.