20 years of RNLI service

Ron junior (left) is pictured receiving his medal from lifeboat operations manager Alex Smith.
Ron junior (left) is pictured receiving his medal from lifeboat operations manager Alex Smith.

Local man Ron Churchill, jnr., a volunteer lifeboat crew member at Arbroath, has followed in the footsteps of his father, Ron, snr., having been awarded with a long service medal by the RNLI.

In 2012, Ron senior, who is also the oldest serving boat crew member in Scotland, was awarded a medal for 30 years’ service and now 2014 marks 20 years’ of service to the lifeboat charity for son Ron.

Reflecting on reaching this milestone, Ron, jnr., said: “The time has certainly passed very quickly and I couldn’t believe it was 20 years already!

“With my dad being a volunteer already, he always encouraged me to join too and when one or two others suggested I could be of some use to the lifeboats I decided to go for it!

“There have been dozens of memorable shouts but the one that sticks in my mind most of all is the rescue of two jet-skiers from the Tay estuary back in 2012.

“The events of that day have been well publicised already but to have found them alive after hope had begun to fade was very rewarding.

“There are of course some shouts that can be tough but the camaraderie between the boys in the crew is great and helps us all keep our spirits up!”

Lifeboat operations manager at Arbroath, Alex Smith, paid tribute to the Churchill family’s dedication.

“For the two Ron’s to have reached a combined service of over 50 years shows a real commitment to the lifeboats, not just from the guys themselves but also their families.

“It gave me great delight to have been able to present Ron junior with his medal recently in recognition of his 20 years’ service.”

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its hardworking and dedicated volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts.

The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service.