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Dungeness RNLI Chairman of Management Committee honoured with fifty years service medal

It was with immense pride the Management Committee Chairman Peter Thomas received a medal for volunteering with the RNLI for fifty years.

From the age of seventeen, Peter stood in for many crew when they missed a lifeboat shout. When his father John retired from the lifeboat in 1970 Peter took his place and also took on the post of Emergency Mechanic serving under Coxswains Ben Tart and Alfred (Honker Haines).

On 11 February 1974 the RNLI lifeboat 'Mabel E Holland' was launched to a severely injured seaman from the vessel Merc Texico in hurricane force winds with very rough seas, six miles east north-east of Dungeness Point for which coxswain Ben Tart received a RNLI silver medal and Peter received an RNLI bronze medal.

In 2011 Peter was appointed Chairman of the Dungeness Management Committee and in September 2012 he was awarded the Queens Diamond Jubilee medal.

Peter said 'it came out of the blue and a complete surprise, I am extremely proud and honoured to have been awarded it from the RNLI'.

Peter Thomas receiving a medal for volunteering with the RNLI for fifty years

Photographs by LPO Judith Richardson

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Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.