Lifeboat coxswain at Arbroath, Tommy Yule, was recently presented with a long service medal marking 20 years of service to the RNLI.
Helping his father at sea from the age of just five, Tommy built up his knowledge and understanding of the sea and the boat handling skills needed to be a fisherman.
It was as a young fisherman that Tommy’s potential was noticed and he was asked by Jock Blues, the late Dave Gerrard and the late Dave Cargill to join them at Arbroath lifeboats. Starting out as a volunteer on the inshore lifeboat, Tommy quickly progressed to helmsman.
He soon became a regular crew member on the all-weather lifeboat, at the time RNLB Shoreline, under the command of coxswain Doug Mathieson, before working his way up to second coxswain, then 11 years ago, Tommy became coxswain.
Reflecting on the last 20 years, Tommy said: “Having been at sea for so long I know only too well the dangers and how quickly things can turn, no matter how experienced you are.
“It is a fantastic opportunity to be part of a team of guys who help save lives at sea and a real honour to have been a member of the crew and coxswain here at Arbroath for so many years.’
Alex Smith, lifeboat operations manager at Arbroath paid tribute to Tommy’s service, he said: “We are very lucky here at Arbroath to have a coxswain with the skills and experience that Tommy has.
“The long service medal I had the honour of presenting to Tommy is testament to his commitment to the lifeboats.
“Everyone involved with Arbroath lifeboats certainly hope we can look forward to Tommy still being here for many more years to come.”