RNLI crew receive royal medals for 500 years service

Bob O'Neill with his Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal. Copyright RNLI/Dave Cocks
Image caption Bob O'Neill with his Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal

Redcar RNLI volunteers with more than 500 years service between them have received royal recognition.

The 27 members of the crew and management team boast a collective 528 years of life saving at sea.

They were awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medals by Lord Zetland as part of the celebrations for Queen Elizabeth's 60 years on the throne.

The ceremony took place at the Redcar lifeboat station which has been operating since 1802.

Lord Zetland said: "I was honoured when I was asked to present the medals. I've had the privilege of being President of the RNLI branch in Redcar for many years."

One of the longest-serving members of the team to receive the medal is Bob O'Neill, who joined the Redcar lifeboat station in 1969.

He served as a crew member and tractor driver before taking on his current role of deputy launching authority.

Mr O'Neill said: "Like all the guys at the station, I'm really proud to receive my Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal. What we do for the RNLI mostly goes unrecognised and unrewarded.

"We do it for the satisfaction of being part of a team that ultimately saves lives. It is one of the greatest feelings when we bring someone home safe and sound and they are able to return to their family."

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal has been awarded to those in the Armed Forces, emergency services and the prison service personnel who meet the criteria set for the award.

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