Eastbourne lifeboatman Richard Guy has been awarded one of the RNLI’s rarest awards for long service to commemorate 40 years’ continuous service with the town’s boats.
Richard, known as Dick, was presented with his award, in the form of a specially commissioned badge, by operations manager Paul Metcalfe at Sunday’s crew meeting in the presence of Dick’s family and fellow crew members.
Dick officially joined the crew as a 17-year-old in 1974 but had been accompanying his father to the station, a crewman in the late 1950s, on shouts for many years prior to that.
When he first volunteered to join the crew, the lifeboat Beryl Tollemache, a Watson class all-weather lifeboat, was based at Fisherman’s Green and was launched from the beach by a large team of willing volunteers.
Over the years Dick became head launcher, responsible for the launch and recovery of the lifeboat up until 1993 when all-weather lifeboat operations were transferred to the newly opened Sovereign Harbour.
Still part of the launching operation, Dick’s role now is to ensure the crew are swiftly transferred from shore to the current Tamar class lifeboat, Diamond Jubilee, which is moored in the outer harbour at Sovereign when it is called into action. A spokesperson for Eastbourne lifeboats said, “It was significant that Dick’s family should share the award and as Liz, Dick’s wife is quick to point out, she has lost count of the number of times the crew pager has interrupted family events and celebrations over the years.”