RNLI heroes honoured for lifesaving work

PRESENTATION Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Frank Jonas with RNLI lifesavers
PRESENTATION Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Frank Jonas with RNLI lifesavers

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LIFESAVERS from the RNLI have been given medals in recognition of their hard work.

The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Councillor Frank Jonas, presented 14 crew members from Portsmouth Lifeboat Station with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal at a ceremony.

He said the move was in recognition of the relentless hard work the volunteers do, during a busy year in which the station has launched nearly 100 times already.

With more than 250 years of service between them, the Lord Mayor thanked the crew for everything they have done for the city.

He said: ‘We live on an island which is surrounded by sea and most of use it in some way, whether through work or for pleasure.

‘The service that these guys do is an incredibly important part of the fabric of our community, and they are all volunteers.

‘They are just normal guys – they could be your next-door neighbours – and they go out at all times of the day and night, putting their life at risk without question to help other people in need. They’re incredible.’

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal is being awarded to everyone who has worked in the emergency services for five or more years.

A Long Service Award was presented to fundraiser and ex-crewman, Graham Jewell, who also received a framed Certificate of Service for his 45 years with the organisation.

And mechanic and ex-helmsman Martin Icke was presented with a Long Service Award for his 31 years with the RNLI.

Martin, 54, of Warren Avenue, Southsea, said: ‘I always knew I was going to stay in the RNLI for a long time because I enjoyed it so much, but the time has gone past so quickly.

‘I’ve always been interested in the sea. There is a real feeling amongst seafarers of wanting to give something back.’

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal was presented to Jacqui Hutchins, Pete Slidel, Neil Millerchip, Mike Hastilow, Lewis Arnold, Jim Seed, Simon Mathews, Martin Icke, John Shaw, Dave Spencer, Paul Vince, Barry Taylor, Graham Jewell, and Colin Beeston.