RNLI volunteers and supporters from Larne and Newtownabbey have been recognised for their dedication with awards.
The event at Belfast’s Titanic Museum, honours RNLI members’ commitment to raising funds and awareness for the lifesaving charity and for playing a pivotal role in ensuring lifeboat crews and lifeguards can continue to save lives at sea.
Larne Branch members receiving awards were Campbell Todd, Harry Lennon, Allan Dorman, Alistair Mawhinney and Sam Moody.
Campbell Todd, who began helping with the P&O ferry collections in Larne ten years ago, received a certificate of thanks. In addition, Harry Lennon, described as ‘the star of the collections on the P&O Larne-Stranraer crossing’ for 15 years was awarded a bronze badge. Harry also provided a trophy for the organisation’s annual quiz,
Larne RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Allan Dorman received an inscribed statuette after serving at the station for 11 years, first as Deputy Launching Authority and then as Lifeboat Operations Manager. He was praised for managing a ‘highly motivated team in Larne’ and for making ‘considerable sacrifices to ensure the safe and effective operation of the station.’
Another Larne RNLI member to be honoured was Lifeboat press officer Alistair Mawhinney from Larne Station Branch, who received an inscribed statuette. Alistair has been press officer for ten years and Deputy Launching Authority since 2007. He was decribed as a ‘valued member of the operations team and provides solid and reliable support to the Lifeboat Operations Manager.’
Larne’s Sea Safety Advisor, Lifeboat Sea Safety officer and Lifejacket Presenter Sam Moody was honoured with a statuette. Sam joined the Sea Safety Team in 2003. He was described as ‘a focal point for sea safety activity in his area’ who had also helped to arrange and run events in Belfast and other parts of Northern Ireland.
Newtownabbey Branch member Gavin Weatherall received a gold badge in recognition of his devotion to fundraising for the RNLI. Gavin has been treasurer for over 25 years. He was described as someone who is ‘exemplary in his role and who carries out his duties meticulously.’ In the last 12 months Gavin has also taken on the role of branch secretary, organising collections.
Chairman of the RNLI Charles Hunter-Pease was guest of honour at the awards presentation. Praising the awardees, he said: “It all starts with the people who give their time, their donation and their expertise.
“Over the decades, as we have expanded our service and developed new craft and facilities; our volunteers, fundraisers and supporters have become more important than ever.
“Without them there is no lifeboat station, no lifeguard unit, no flood rescue team, and no coastal safety work preventing tragedies.”