A century of service at Redcar RNLI

Two volunteers at Redcar have clocked up one hundred years of RNLI service between them.

Tony Jamieson and Bob O’Neill both began volunteering for the RNLI in 1969. Tony joined the Teesmouth lifeboat station as a crew member before becoming second mechanic. He was part of the lifeboat crew involved in the fateful grounding in 1993 of the giant tanker Freja Svea, during which the Teesmouth lifeboat was badly damaged when it was struck by an enormous wave. Later on the same day the Hartlepool lifeboat was capsized in mountainous seas.

Tony later joined the Redcar lifeboat station in the mid-1990s as a sea safety adviser. During his time in this role, he has spoken to hundreds of boat owners and thousands of school children about the dangers of the sea.

Bob joined the Redcar lifeboat station as a crew member before becoming a launching vehicle driver. He is now a deputy launching authority, responsible for the tasking of the lifeboats to incidents. He is also heavily involved in the day-to-day running of the lifeboat station.

Mike Picknett, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Redcar, said: ‘We are extremely privileged to have Bob and Tony here at Redcar. To complete 50 years of volunteering is outstanding. There’s been a lifeboat at Redcar since 1802, so they have both been involved in almost a quarter of the history of lifesaving on this stretch of coast.

‘If anyone was to ask me what we look for in our volunteers, I’d just point them in the direction of those two. Their commitment, enthusiasm and dedication are everything that’s good about the RNLI.’

Tony and Bob have both received the RNLI’s Excellence in Volunteering Award, and will be presented with their 50-year medals in 2020.