Lifeboat Sea Safety Officer receives prestigious RYA award from HRH Princess Royal

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Author: Russell Matthews

Lifeboat Sea Safety Officer receives prestigious RYA award from HRH Princess Royal
Skegness RNLI’s (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) Lifeboat Sea Safety Officer Peter Barnard MBE was presented with one of the RYA’s (Royal Yachting Association) most prestigious awards - an RYA Lifetime Commitment Award - by HRH the Princess Royal, President of the RYA at the organisation’s annual awards ceremony held at London’s One Great George Street on Thursday (18th November).

Peter was nominated for his Lifetime Commitment Award, for individuals who have shown exceptional commitment and dedication to their club or organisation for at least 15 years, by the RYA’s council members and he was selected as a winner by the Awards panel for his volunteer work with the RYA and Royal Air Force Sailing Association (RAFSA) over 36 years.

On retirement from the RAF, Peter, who first fell in love with the water crewing for a potential Olympian while serving at RAF Scampton in the 1960s, became a member of the RYA East Midlands panel, where he continues to give training and advice to clubs in his district.

Peter’s involvement with the RNLI started in 1994, when he attended an Atlantic lifeboat course at the Inshore Lifeboat Centre in Cowes, IoW, to help formulate the RYA’s Advanced Powerboat syllabus.

Since 2001 Peter has also volunteered for the RNLI as a Sea Safety Officer, providing SEA Checks – the RNLI’s free, informal and confidential face-to-face safety advice service – for pleasure craft owners. In 2008 the position was attached to Skegness lifeboat station where Pete has become a regular feature at the annual Lifeboat Day in July in addition to helping numerous crew members with RYA shore-based courses.

Over the past nine years, Peter has performed nearly 1,000 SEA Checks and helped raise several thousand pounds for the charity that relies on voluntary donations to save lives at sea.

Peter said: “I’m honoured to receive such an award but I’ve been helped by many others over the years, without their help little would have been achieved. I’ve enjoyed taking part in all types of boating over the years, from dinghy, keelboat and offshore sailing to powerboating and motor boating and it is the fact that it is a sport that is so open to all and is readily adaptable to meet any age or physical barriers that makes it so special. I still get so much satisfaction seeing students master the skills they have been taught.”

Sarah Treseder, RYA Chief Executive says “The RYA is delighted to make this award in recognition of Peter’s enthusiasm, promotion of our sport and many years’ contribution to the region’s sailing scene. The 44 RYA winners are an inspiration to us all and it is my pleasure to recognise and celebrate their hard work and dedication.”

Peter and the other RYA Award winners enjoyed a celebratory lunch in the presence of HRH the Princess Royal, and were presented with a commemorative medallion and certificate.

Peter Barnard, MBE, receives his RYA Lifetime Commitment Award from HRH The Princess Royal, 18 November 2010. Credit: Jon Furley/RYA.

For further information about the free SEA Check scheme, visit the RNLI’s Sea Safety website at

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