Long-serving Hoylake RNLI Lifeboat volunteer presented with British Empire Medal

Lifeboats News Release

Hoylake RNLI's Lifeboat Operations Manager has been presented with the British Empire Medal (BEM) at a special ceremony in Liverpool.

David Whiteley, 57, received his BEM from the Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside Dame Lorna Muirhead at the Athenaeum Club on Friday, watched by his family and local dignitaries. He was awarded the medal in the 2016 New Year's Honours List for services to maritime safety.


David has volunteered with the Hoylake RNLI Lifeboat for over 40 years, including 15 years as the lifeboat's Coxswain. He joined the Royal National Lifeboat Institution on his 17th birthday in January 1976, following in his father's footsteps. During his many years' volunteering for the RNLI David has played a vital role in saving over 150 lives at sea.


In presenting David with his medal, Dame Lorna said 'There are many David Whiteleys around the UK who risk their lives in somewhat treacherous conditions and who consider duty before self. In this case it has not just been about rescues, but all of the other backroom requirements that ensure Hoylake Lifeboat can answer the call of duty effectively and efficiently'.


She added 'In this context, it is the fundraising, training, and fostering of cohesion between crews, families and communities that David has undertaken. This culminates in that those who may require the services of the lifeboat crew can gather comfort knowing that a highly motivated and skilled team is on hand'.


On receiving his award, David said 'I'm honoured and humbled to have received this award. First and foremost, it represents the hard work and dedication of the Hoylake Lifeboat crew and volunteers, with whom I have had the privilege to serve'.



Notes to editors.

  • Hoylake Lifeboat Station has been operating since 1803 and is one of the oldest in the country. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to www.rnli.org.uk/hoylake  or www.hoylakelifeboat.org.uk/
  • Lifeboat Operations Manager Dave Whiteley and Coxswain/Mechanic Andy Dodd are available for interview by arrangement.


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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland from 236 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 180 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.


The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 139,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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