Thursday, 12 January 2012

Gold badge for Lifeboat Operations Manager

In the first week of January the RNLI announced the names of the awardees that will be honoured at the annual presentation of awards later this year. Swanage volunteer, Captain Neil Hardy, has been recognised for his service to the Institution and is to be awarded the RNLI Gold Badge.

The RNLI Gold Badge is awarded to volunteers to acknowledge significant contribution to the Institution. Neil is the Lifeboat Operations Manager, responsible for the overall running of the station, a role he began in 1989. He comes from a family of RNLI volunteers with his uncle being a former Swanage Lifeboat Coxswain for many years.

Neil began his maritime career in 1967 at Nautical College and it was a natural progression for him to get involved with the workings of his local lifeboat station in later years. He was approached by a former Chairman of the Swanage Lifeboat branch to ask if he would consider getting involved to help re-kindle the level of interest at the station. This was a challenge that Neil took on and has held for over 23 years.

Despite having been involved with the RNLI for many years Neil was surprised to receive this special award saying, “I have enjoyed being a part of the Swanage RNLI, using my past experiences to assist this wonderful group of volunteers. There are very few organisations today that rely on the generosity of the public and dedicated volunteers, as opposed to government funding, to provide such a comprehensive service. This makes what the RNLI achieves truly remarkable and something I am proud to be associated with”.
Neil will be attending the RNLI National awards at the Barbican in London to receive this honour on 17 May 2012. He will be joined by an array of volunteers from around the Country include some volunteer crew and lifeguards who will receive coveted gallantry awards from the Institution for their acts of bravery helping to save the lives of those in trouble on the sea.