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Displaying items by tag: Donaghdeee

Three Donaghadee RNLI Lifeboat volunteer crew members in Northern Ireland have had their long term service to the institution recognised by RNLI headquarters in Poole in the form of long service medals.

The three crew members have together accrued over 80 years in service to the RNLI and in turn to the community in Donaghadee and its lifesaving heritage.

Crew member Michael Field has been awarded his 30-year long service medal and has been involved in many call-outs over the years, all whilst working and raising a family with his wife Dawn. Michael commented ‘Even after so many years, I still very much enjoy the training exercises and the continual learning. Of course, the comradeship with the other crew over the years has been a big part of the satisfaction I get from being a volunteer. After a particularly difficult shout, of which I have seen many, we are all there to support each other and get ourselves prepared for whatever the next shout may bring’. 

Mark Nelson has been awarded his 20-year long service medal as a volunteer crew member, Mark has juggled his career as a chef as well as being a busy family man for many of these years. When asked what he has noticed most about the RNLI in his time he said ‘ The abilities of the boat, technological advances and the equipment we work with has been impressive and continues to change and challenge us all to maintain our training and skills. No two training exercises or call outs are the same, always interesting and keeps us on our toes!’.

Mark Nelson, Crew Member, with long service medalMark Nelson, Crew Member, with his long service medal

Crew member John Petrie has also been awarded his 30-year long service medal and has seen many changes in his time also. John joined at the age of 23 and has volunteered on two of the RNLI lifeboats City of Belfast and the current Saxon, he has also volunteered under three coxswains, Graham McConnell, David Martin and current coxswain Philip McNamara. Reflecting on his time with the lifeboat John commented on his most memorable call out ‘ On the 20th of April 1993, we were called out to the fishing boat Berachah, they had a man overboard 20 miles south of Donaghadee. We searched for 5 hours in atrocious conditions, 10 metre swells and sometimes more. Definitely, a shout that stands out for me‘.

John Petrie, Crew Member, with long service medalJohn Petrie, Crew Member, with his long service medal

Philip McNamara who has been coxswain for 22 years, said of his crew members ‘The dedication shown by all the crew members at Donagahdee station is remarkable, but to be able to be a volunteer and turn up time and again for training and exercises over such a long period of time is a true measure of their character. They drop everything and leave their families and jobs to go to sea to help someone. I am delighted that Michael, John and Mark have received their long service medals, they are well deserved. I am very proud of the team we have at our station and honoured to work with them. I am sure we will have many more long-serving volunteers in the future. A big well done and thank you to Michael, John and Mark and of course all the crew members at the station.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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