Weston lifeboat station boss Richard Spindler steps down from operational jobs after 54 years
PUBLISHED: 08:00 07 March 2018
A long-serving member of Weston RNLI's crew is stepping down from operational duties as he has reached the required retiring age.
Richard Spindler has been volunteering with the lifeboat charity for 54 years, starting out as a member of the crew and working his way up to the head of the station.
He stepped down from the boats when he reached the RNLI’s required age, and then became deputy launching authority, before taking over as lifeboat operations manager.
However, since he has now reached the RNLI’s required retirement age of 70, he is handing over the reigns to helmsman Mike Buckland.
Richard will continue serving the RNLI as lifeboat boathouse manager, to keep the station in order and help with the development of a new base.
He said: “It has been a huge privilege to serve on this station.
“I have known and worked with many great people and have had a very rewarding time serving alongside these heroes.
“I shall miss being involved in the operations but having my new role should be exciting as we build our new station, and I will still be working with the crew.”
Richard has three bravery awards for saving lives in difficult conditions.
The rescues include saving three boys and a coastguard when they were trapped in a cave near Brean Down during a storm.
The lifeboat could not fit, so Richard swam into the cave three times to retrieve the survivors and take them to safety.
A Weston RNLI spokesman said: “As well as his personal bravery he has been an inspiration to all the crews who followed him.
“His knowledge and skills have been passed on in an unassuming yet very effective manner.”
Richard received an MBE for his life-saving efforts, as well as top awards within the RNLI itself.
Mike has been at the station for 19 years, and helmsman for 14 of those.
He said: “I am excited to have the privilege of leading our team forward and I hope there are exciting times to come in the near future with developing plans for the new station and launch capabilities.
“I’m delighted that although Richard is standing down as operations manager he is remaining part of the station team as our boathouse manager.”