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Bob Crane, LOM, retires after 19 years of voluntary service

Lifeboats News Release

Bob Crane has been a lifeboat volunteer in Portishead, serving the community and saving lives on this busy Estuary for 19 years.

Bob (left) being presented to by George Rawlinson

RNLI/Helen Lazenby

Bob (left) being presented to by George Rawlinson

On Monday 1st May, he hung up his iconic yellow wellies to swop them for his….slippers? Well, for those who know Bob, the last bit isn’t quite true.

In 1998 the Portishead Lifeboat Trust operated an independent lifeboat service, which had been operational for 2 years by then. Bob was asked by the Chairman if he would join the volunteers and become their Deputy Launch Authority. With all of his experience and passion to keep people safe on the water, he grabbed the chance to help. He eventually became the Launch Authority and with his team of Deputies, they respond to the emergency calls from the Coastguards and page the boat and shore crew to launch the Lifeboat when requested, 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

After having different roles for the Portishead Lifeboat Trust, in 2015 the RNLI asked Bob to be their first Lifeboat Operations Manager for their brand new state of the art Lifeboat Station in Portishead. A role he was honoured to have.

Mike Roberts, Chairman added ‘When the RNLI Lifeboat Station opened in Portishead in 2015, Bob Crane became our Lifeboat Operations Manager. His extensive sailing experience, together with many years working with the previous Portishead Lifeboat, has enabled us to establish a very effective team at the Station. We are therefore sorry to see Bob leave us as he takes well-earned retirement, although he will continue to do some project work with us. His successor in the role, Dave Slack, is himself a long term member of the team and we welcome him into this role and we look forward to the future.’

George Rawlinson, Director of Operations for the RNLI said, ‘Bobs volunteer commitment to Portishead lifeboat station, the RNLI and the Portishead Lifeboat Trust before that is of the highest order. His operational leadership of the station and indeed the whole involvement of the team at Portishead is a great inspiration to us all and an example of what can be achieved in the community in the service of saving lives at sea. We will all miss him and wish his successor Dave Slack every success for the future.’

George went on to say,’On the day of his farewell presentation the Mayday Yellow Welly Relay started from the lifeboat station marking the RNLI's Mayday event. This is just one example of many, of how the lifeboat station promotes the work of the Institution in the saving even more lives from drowning and for that we are very grateful indeed.’

Thanks go to all of the guests on Sunday including the Portishead Coastguards with Barry Darbon presenting to Bob a gift to mark his retirement.

If you want to support the volunteers in Portishead and help save lives at sea, take a look at the forthcoming events on their website, we look forward to seeing you all soon. http://www.portishead-lifeboat.org.uk/events.html

To support the Mayday Yellow Welly Relay have a look here https://rnli.org/mayday/events/2017/april/rnli-mayday-welly-relay

RNLI notes to editors

All Images ©RNLI Portishead

  1. Bob (left) being presented to by George Rawlinson
  2. Mike Roberts thanking Bob
  3. Barry Darbon with Bob
  4. Bob with Peter Duncan another of our Deputy Launch Authorities walking in the Yellow Welly Relay.
  5. Bob with his cake and the Mayday Yellow Welly!
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Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 230 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 200 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved 140,000 lives.

A charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SCO37736). Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland

Mike Roberts thanking Bob

RNLI/Helen Lazenby

Mike Roberts thanking Bob
Barry Darbon with Bob

RNLI/Helen Lazenby

Barry Darbon with Bob
Bob with Peter Duncan another of our Deputy Launch Authorities walking in the Yellow Welly Relay

RNLI/Helen Lazenby

Bob with Peter Duncan another of our Deputy Launch Authorities walking in the Yellow Welly Relay
Bob with his cake and the Mayday Yellow Welly!

RNLI/Helen Lazenby

Bob with his cake and the Mayday Yellow Welly!

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 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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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland