Richard Spindler, the long serving Operations Manager at Weston Knightstone RNLI lifeboat Station stands down from an operational role due to his age after 54 years service to the RNLI, saving many lives.
Richard Spindler is known to many at Weston as the heart of the local RNLI crew They volunteer whenever needed to save lives at sea 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. He served on the crew of the lifeboats until he reached the age when he could no longer be boat crew. He then took up the role of Deputy Launching Authority and then Lifeboat Operations Manager. Once again age has overtaken him but he will continue serving the RNLI and the local community as Lifeboat Boathouse Manager.
He has a long history of bravery in the face of difficult conditions. He has bravery awards for saving lives. In particular he rescued three boys and a coastguard when they were trapped in a cave on Brean Down in a storm. The lifeboat itself could not get in to the cave. Richard swam in three times and brought the survivors out one by one to the safety of the lifeboat,
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 a non assuming yet very effective manner.
He has received many awards for his service. Most recently the RNLI Gold Badge, The No 10 Downing Street Pillar of Light and most of all he had a trip up to Buckingham Palace to receive an MBE for his services for saving lives at sea.
He will not be leaving the station having taken on the role of Boathouse Manager to keep the station in order and help with the development of the new station.
His place as head of the station is being taken by Michael Buckland. Mike has been on the station for 19 years and has been a helmsman for over 14 years. As a senior member of the crew he has been involved in many rescues and helped to save many lives.
Mike Buckland, Lifeboat Operations Manger Weston RNLI 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’.
Richard Spindler 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.’
The enclosed pictures show Richard Spindler at the lifeboat station, Richard receiving his MBE and Mike Buckland in RNLI kit.