Two long-serving RNLI volunteers who have dedicated more than 100 years between them to saving lives at sea will receive their Platinum Jubilee Medal to complete the full set awarded by Her Majesty The Queen.
Alan Forrester (71) and David Leslie (77) both joined the RNLI as volunteers in 1967 and have amassed 110 years of service to the lifesaving charity between them. Both already had the Silver (awarded in 1977), Golden (2002) and Diamond (2012) medals awarded to commemorate The Queen’s previous jubilee years and are now in a select group of people to have received all four.
4,500 RNLI volunteers and front-line staff will receive the Platinum Jubilee Medal, a first for many, in recognition of the 65,886 lives the charity has saved during Her Majesty’s 70-year reign and time as RNLI patron.
The medal will also be awarded to those who serve in the emergency services, prison services and Armed Forces who have completed five years consecutive service.
Alan joined Flint RNLI as shore crew in 1967 when he was just 17 and soon progressed to crew and then helm. After many years as a sea-going volunteer, Alan became the lifeboat station’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, a key role that he continues to carry out with great pride to this day.
Alan was awarded the Bronze medal for bravery during a rescue in February 1983 when he led his crew to save the lives of two people in rough seas.
Alan was also awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours list in recognition of his charity work on the North Wales coast.
Alan said: “I’m honoured to be receiving a fourth Jubilee Medal. Volunteering for the RNLI is something I’ve always enjoyed, working alongside other volunteers and making a difference in our local community by saving lives at sea.”
David joined Flint RNLI at the age of 23 and has held roles including shore helper and sea-going lifeboat crew. Since retiring as active sea-going crew, David has held the position of boathouse manager, ensuring the station’s lifesaving equipment is in working order and that the lifeboat can launch at a moment’s notice 24/7, 365 days a year.
David said: “One shout that always sticks in my mind is when we launched to a yacht aground just off Flint with two people and a dog onboard. We’d managed to take the two casualties off onto the lifeboat, however, the dog had different ideas and decided to swim for it. I had to swim after it which isn’t something we normally have to do. Thankfully all ended well.”
During their time volunteering, Flint RNLI lifeboat has launched more than 700 times, aided more than 250 people and saved almost 100 lives.
RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie said: “I am delighted to see so many RNLI volunteers and staff being recognised by this prestigious award alongside other frontline members of the emergency services, prison services and the Armed Forces.
“The Platinum Jubilee medal follows a long history of awarding medals to mark Royal Jubilee celebrations, and this is the fourth medal under Her Majesty The Queen’s reign.
“It is a testament to the selflessness and dependability of our people that many have served the RNLI long enough to have been awarded all four Jubilee medals.
“My congratulations and thanks go to all the recipients and our thousands of other volunteers and staff who work tirelessly to deliver our essential lifesaving services in our mission to save every one.”