Richard Tollett, former Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) at Rye Harbour, received a local hero award on Thursday November 2 from the International Lifesaving Federation for an outstanding forty-nine and a half years service to the RNLI.
The presentation was made at the RNLI headquarters at Poole by the International Maritime Rescue Hero awards, (Honouring Excellence in Rescue Operations).
Tony Edwards, the current LOM, said “This award was very well deserved and I would like to congratulate Richard on behalf of the management and crew at Rye Harbour”.
Richard served as both crew and Operations Manager during his time at the station. He started his RNLI volunteer career as a lifeboat crew member in 1968. He then took on the role of Honorary Secretary in 1986 and eventually became Lifeboat Operations Manager in 2004. He retired on 21 July, 2017, aged 70.
Richard was extremely pleased to receive his award and said, “It was a very pleasant evening where I was able to mingle with rescuers from as far away as South Africa and New Zealand, as well as Iceland, Croatia, Sweden and South America.” He added, “I started volunteering with the RNLI in 1968. Since the I was involved with 1,130 launches, rescuing 932 people and saving 189 lives”.
The RNLI was founded 193 years ago in 1824. It’s amazing that Richard had served for over a quarter of the time that the RNLI has been in existence. A truly remarkable feat.
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Photo: Andrew Tollett