Torbay Lifeboat Station Manager awarded MBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours
The man responsible for managing one of the South Coast’s busiest lifeboat stations has been recognised with an MBE for services to Maritime Safety on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
David Ham, 74, has been the Lifeboat Operations Manager at Torbay Lifeboat Station for the past eight years. During this time he has juggled the pressures of crew and support staff recruitment and availability, complex rescues, and the constant need to raise funds for the charity.
His leadership of volunteers and the positive and professional environment he has created for the team mean he is highly respected by the lifeboat crew, enabling them to perform to their highest potential. It is also widely recognised within the town and community that his commitment, and his service to the safety of the seas around Torbay, has been nothing short of exceptional.
David, said: 'It came as a big surprise to be given this award. It really is recognition for the good work of the whole station at Torbay and what we have built together from the fundraisers to coastal safety and the crew it really is a team effort. I am thrilled to carry this honour on behalf of the team.'
David always has a sense of duty, which was illustrated by his search for a missing 14 year-old diver who unfortunately drowned before help could arrive. He showed great sensitivity and attended to the needs of the family of the missing child, continuing to support them in the months after the tragedy too, helping them to focus their grieving through acts of charity and remembrance.
It is not only as the Operations Manager that David supports the RNLI as he is also the force behind Torbay's annual SOS RNLI fundraising day each winter.
In January 2012, he found and motivated a crew to row a vintage lifeboat from Brixham to Torquay, calling at the various harbours on the way, while their wives and girlfriends pushed an inflatable inshore lifeboat round by road. In one day, through his drive and organisation, this initiative raised £10,000.
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Key facts about the RNLI
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.
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