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Kyle RNLI marks remarkable 100 years combined service of 4 volunteers

Lifeboats News Release

Saturday evening (30th September), saw the Kyle crew and families all come together for a fun filled evening to celebrate the remarkable service of 4 of our long term crew members who hung up their pagers over the past year.

RNLI/Andrew MacDonald

David, Sandy, John & Norman Jnr (accepting on behalf of Norman Snr)

The Kyle RNLI volunteers gathered in the lifeboat station on Saturday evening for a barbecue and paella night to thank 4 long standing stalwarts of the Kyle lifeboat family for everything they have done over the years. It was also a chance to celebrate their remarkable 100 years of combined service they have given to the RNLI.

Last Autumn, John MacRae retired from active service. John volunteered for 26 years starting as a crew member in 1996, 1 year after the station was formed, before then proceeding to become a helm in 2003, a role which he held until he retired. Throughout his years of volunteering, John also held various managerial roles within the station including the Lifeboat Press Officer between 2010 and 2013, and the Lifeboat Training Coordinator between 2014 and 2018.

In March this year, there were 3 more retirals from the station as Sandy Murray, David Macleod and Norman Finlayson Snr all took a step back from their roles.

Sandy Murray volunteered for 28 years, and was one of our original Shore crew, helping launch and recover the lifeboat, from 1995 when the station was first formed, until March 2023. He was also heavily involved in the management of the station over the past 19 years, starting out as Chairman of the Lifeboat Management Group in 2004, then becoming a Deputy Launching Authority in 2013 and progressing to run the station as Lifeboat Operations Manager from 2014 until he retired in March.

Norman Finlayson Snr volunteered for 28 years, and was one of the original lifeboat crew and a senior helm from the station’s inception in 1995 until 1999, where he retired from the boat, and became shore crew until 2005. Norman also held various managerial roles at the station including being the Lifeboat Training Coordinator between 2001 and 2004, before then becoming a Deputy Launching Authority in 2005, a role he held until earlier this year.

David Macleod volunteered for a total of 18 years, and was one of our lifeboat crew from 1995 until 2004, when he took a step back from volunteering for a few years due to other commitments. In 2014 David returned to the station to become one of the station’s Deputy Launching Authorities, a role he held until March.

The retirees were all awarded certificates of service from the RNLI to commemorate their years volunteering for the charity. The crew also presented them with engraved tankards as a token of their thanks. Unfortunately, Norman Snr was unable to attend the celebrations, however his son, Norman Jnr, who is a senior helm at the station was on hand to receive his certificate and tankard on his behalf.

Andrew MacDonald, Helm & Deputy Launching Authority for Kyle RNLI Lifeboat, says: ‘Saturday was a chance for everyone to come together and thank the 4 retirees for all their years of service. Everyone had a great evening with a wonderful spread of food, and there were many laughs, as stories were told and tales regaled. There was even time for a race between the retiring crew and the recently joined crew, to find out who could put on and then take off the lifeboat crew’s equipment the fastest.

Notes to editors

· Kyle of Lochalsh lifeboat station has been operating since 1995.

· Sandy and Norman both volunteered for 28 years, John for 26 and David for 18.

· Please credit photos to Kyle RNLI

RNLI media contacts

Andrew MacDonald, Lifeboat Press Officer for Kyle of Lochalsh lifeboat station, 07748 707606, [email protected]

Natasha Bennett, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 07826 900639, [email protected]

Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 07920 365929, [email protected]

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

RNLI online

For more information on the RNLI please visit News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre

RNLI/Andrew MacDonald

David, Sandy & John

RNLI/Andrew MacDonald

Sandy Murray

RNLI/Andrew MacDonald

John MacRae

RNLI/Andrew MacDonald

David Macleod

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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