Medal honour after five decades of saving lives

Richard Spindler

Richard Spindler - Credit: Archant

A DEDICATED lifeboat volunteer has been recognised for his long service to saving lives at sea in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Richard Spindler has volunteered for 50 years with Weston-super-Mare RNLI and is already decorated for taking part in a daring rescue in 1978.

Mr Spindler, aged 67, started volunteering with the lifeboat crew at the age of just 17.

He stayed with the station for years to come and earned several awards for rescues in extreme conditions.

Mr Spindler, of Brendon Avenue, helped to rescue three boys and two coastguards who were trapped in a cave in the midst of a fierce gale in November 1978.

As the dedicated swimmer, he swam several times into the cave to rescue the group who were caught there by the rising tide.

The RNLI gave him a medal for his bravery – and he earned another eight years later for a similar act of courage.

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He retired as active boat crew in 1996 to take on the role of deputy launching authority – part of the team responsible for launching the lifeboat instead.

He said: “I’m honoured to receive this award. To me this is an award to the team. Over the years I have served with many lifeboat crew and I could not have done what I did without them. I have always been proud to be a part of the RNLI and always will be.”

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During his time on the lifeboats, 218 lives have been saved by the station’s volunteers.

He also spent 17 years as a cub scout leader in Weston and taught young people about sea safety.

Leave your congratulations to Richard in the comments section below.

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