Prime Minister praises RNLI's 'incredible' Richard

PUBLISHED: 15:00 15 January 2015

Richard Spindler (centre).

Richard Spindler (centre).

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PRIME Minister David Cameron has praised a 'brave and selfless' stalwart of Weston's RNLI, who was this week presented with a top award.

Richard Spindler.Richard Spindler.

Richard Spindler, who has been involved with the life-saving charity for more than 50 years, has been given a Points of Light award.

While a crew member, he helped to save 218 lives and has been integral in raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for the charity.

The Points of Light award recognises outstanding volunteers and people who make a difference in their community.

Richard, aged 66, said he was ‘chuffed to bits’ with the award.

He said: “I first went up to the station when I was 12 and used to polish the boats and I started officially when I was 17.

“I joined the RNLI because it is helping people and helping the community.

“It’s almost like a drug. When it’s got you, it doesn’t let you go.

“It’s a great experience and there is a lot of comradeship.

“It is not just my award – it’s for the whole station because we work as one big team.”

Mr Cameron paid tribute to Richard’s 50 years’ service.

He said: “Richard is a particularly brave and selfless volunteer who has risked his own safety to save the lives of others throughout a lifetime of volunteering with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

“I want to congratulate Richard on the incredible 50 years of service he will mark this year and I am delighted to name him a Point of Light.”

Richard, who lives in Brendon Avenue, won an RNLI award in 1978 for rescuing five people who had become trapped in a cave at Brean Down during a gale.

He has worked as deputy launching authority, and recently completed three years as an RNLI lifeboat sea safety officer.

He has also carried out dozens of visits to schools and youth clubs to talk about the charity’s work.

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