Chair of St.Agnes RNLI Lifeboat retires after 49 years voluntary service
The Chair of St.Agnes RNLI Lifeboat Gerald Simmons has hung his wet weather gear up after 49 years service.
He is stepping down for personal reasons, but will still be around to offer his decades of experience and words of advice and support to all the volunteers at the station.
In celebration of an incredible 49 years voluntary service a presentation evening was held on Wednesday 27 August, at Trevaunance Cove, St.Agnes, where the station he served so faithfully and all the lifeboats he's overseen were, and still are, based.
The event was held in 'Schooners Cornwall', overlooking the cove and colleagues, friends and family of Gerald came from far and wide to share in the celebration. The latest RNLI Lifeboat 'XKalibur' was launched solely in his honour and performed a demonstration in the bay for him to watch over from the venue.
Many online tributes and messages of congratulations, from around the country and the world, were posted on the station's social media pages and displayed for Gerald and his guests to read.
Dickon Berriman, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager, gave a 'Through the Years' presentation, to a large gathering of well wishers, with various pictures and memorable stories of Gerald's time with the lifeboat, both afloat, and ashore.
The current Senior Helm, Gavin Forehead, presented Gerald with a 'Certificate of Thanks' from the RNLI and the Lifeboat Operations Manager, Bruce Baker, presented him with a very impressive statuette of a crafted and mounted section from a lifeboat brass propeller. Gerald's wife Debbie was presented with a bouquet of flowers in recognition of her support to him and his dedication.
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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Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.
The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland