Dedicated RNLI Skegness Coxswain recognised with MBE

Friday 1 January 2016

Author: Isla Reynolds RNLI

Dedicated RNLI Skegness Coxswain recognised with MBE

A long-serving Skegness lifeboat volunteer, Ray Chapman, is to be awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours. 


As one of the most experienced and longest-serving volunteer lifeboat crew members in the UK, Ray Chapman has saved many people in trouble at sea during his time at Skegness lifeboat station. 


A launch to a sinking fishing boat in December 2011 was one such occasion when, faced with extreme cold, strong winds and worsening sea conditions, Ray spent nine hours on deck to make sure the fishermen were safe and the tow was successful.


The Skegness lifeboat Coxswain since 2012, Ray has spent the last 44 years dedicated to saving lives at sea, whether that’s on board the lifeboat, giving sea safety talks to school children or raising funds for the charity. He is well respected throughout the Lincolnshire town and his fellow crew-members look up to him as a role model.


Alan Fisher, Skegness Lifeboat Operations Manager, said, ‘When things get sticky out on the water, the other crew look up to him for inspiration because of the wealth of his knowledge.’


Ray said: ‘I was flabbergasted when I received the letter – you never expect something like this.  It’s an honour to receive the award, but it’s not just for me – I don’t lifeboat on my own, I go out with a whole crew and it’s all about team work.’


Paul Boissier, RNLI Chief Executive, said: ‘The RNLI depends on the commitment, skill and courage of its volunteers to save lives at sea, and Ray is the epitome of our values. Not only does he set a good example for the other lifeboat crew members, he also raises funds for the charity and helps keep the community safe through educational talks. I’m so pleased that his dedication has been recognised.’




1) Ray Chapman MBE outside Buckingham Palace

2) Ray With Dame Barbara Windsor DBE


Notes to editors

  • Ray Chapman has been awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to Maritime Safety
  • Photo shows Ray Chapman, please credit RNLI
  • Other RNLI people receiving awards:
    • Richard Spindler, Deputy Launching Authority, RNLI Weston-super-Mare – MBE 
    • David Whitely, Coxswain, RNLI Hoylake – BEM
    • Lady Rose Crossman, Fundraising President of Berwick-upon-Tweed RNLI Guild – MBE
    • Janet Kelly, Station Manager (rtd), RNLI Tower – MBE 
  • The British Empire Medal (BEM), recently revived by David Cameron after being phased out during John Major’s term in office, is awarded to people for work in their local community.
  • The Member of the Order of the British Empire recognises distinguished service to the arts and sciences, public services outside the Civil Service and work with charitable and welfare organisations of all kinds. There are five grades, as well as the recently added British Empire Medal (BEM)
    • Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross (GBE) 
    • Knight Commander or Dame Commander (KBE or DBE)
    • Commander (CBE)
    • Officer (OBE)
    • Member (MBE)
Dedicated RNLI Skegness Coxswain recognised with MBE

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