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Arbroath RNLI coxswain receives long service medal

Lifeboats News Release

Arbroath RNLI coxswain, Neil Swankie, has been presented with a long service medal in recognition of his 20 years dedicated service to the lifesaving charity.

Arbroath RNLI

Arbroath RNLI coxswain Neil Swankie
Since joining as a volunteer on the Arbroath lifeboat crew in July 2003, Neil has attended 218 service calls so far, directly contributing to saving the lives of eight individuals and aiding more than 120 people in distress.

Neil’s first ‘shout’ was back in September 2003, and just two years later in 2005, he was passed out as an all-weather lifeboat coxswain.

With a record of 295 service hours and over 450 training exercises, totalling almost 1200 hours spent at sea, Neil continues to demonstrate his commitment to keeping people safe on and around local waters.

His most memorable shout came in November 2012. Two jet skiers were missing in the icy waters of the River Tay estuary after their jet ski had broken down. For almost four hours the jet skiers clung to each other, freezing and struggling to stay afloat. A full scale search had been launched, involving Arbroath and Broughty Ferry lifeboats, assisted by an HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter.

When daylight and hope were fading fast, Neil and his fellow volunteer crew on board Arbroath’s all-weather lifeboat spotted the jet skiers in the water, before bringing them on board to safety and ultimately saving their lives.

Everyone at Arbroath RNLI extends their heartfelt congratulations to Neil for his exceptional 20 years of service and would like to thank him for his invaluable contribution to the safety of the local coastal community.

Neil would like to thank all at Arbroath lifeboat station, past and present, for the help and support he has received throughout the past 20 years.

Arbroath RNLI

Arbroath Coxswain Neil Swankie being presented with his 20 year service medal by Arbroath lifeboat operations manager, Ron Curchill

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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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.