Devoted volunteer Coxswain Ray Chapman MBE retires after 46 years of service to the RNLI.
Tuesday 14 February 2017
Author: Adam Holmes
The Coxswain of Skegness lifeboat has retired from the station after a remarkable 46 years of dedication to the Institution (Royal National Lifeboat Institution, RNLI)
Actively involved in the RNLI before he officially joined in 1971, Ray remembers running from house to house to alert crew, before pagers were introduced to the service.
"When Dad got the phone call that the IRB (inshore rescue boat, as the smaller lifeboat was originally known) I would run round to several of the volunteers crews houses to alert them, one crewman who was a postman would launch his mail bag into someone’s garden and the leg it at the sound of the maroons”.
Lifeboating is in Ray’s blood. He is one of the UK’s longest-serving and most experienced volunteer lifeboat crew members and I know he will be greatly missed by the crew and wider RNLI community at Skegness, where his passion and commitment to the RNLI have been an inspiration”
He added "His knowledge of the local coast and boat handling skills are exemplary, but as well as helping to save many lives during lifeboat launches, Ray has helped hundreds if not thousands more through the sea safety talks he has given and the enthusiasm he has shown for fundraising”.
On his MBE George said "I was delighted when Ray received an MBE last year and can’t think of anyone more deserving of that honour. He has been such a stalwart volunteer and a wonderful ambassador for our charity. On behalf of everyone at the RNLI, I want to thank him for his amazing commitment to saving lives, and wish him all the very best for his retirement”.
Ray has handed over the reins of Coxswain Richard Watson, station 2nd Coxswain until his new position.
1) Ray Chapman MBE
2) Ray with MBE at Buckingham Palace