Richard Tollett was awarded a Gold Badge by the Council of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in recognition of his valuable support of the Lifeboat Service.

The presentation took place on Friday, 10 th August 2007 at Rye Harbour Village Hall. The badge and a certificate were presented by the Institutions Divisional Inspector – East Division, Martyn Smith.

Richard had the opportunity to have the badge awarded to him by His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent at the Royal National Lifeboats Institution’s Annual Award Ceremony which was held at the Barbican, London. Richard opted to have the presentation locally so that everyone who has helped him over the last 39 years could share in his good fortune. In Richards own words ‘…without the team at Rye Harbour, that’s the shore helpers, launchers, crew, management team, fund raisers and most of all my wife, Ann to help me, I don’t think it would have been the fun that it has been.’

Richard joined the Crew at Rye Harbour Lifeboat Station on 20 th May 1968 in which he served until 28 th February 1986; during this time the lifeboat was launched 308 times saving 90 lives. The following day 01 st March Richard became the stations 4 th Honorary Secretary since the station was re-established in 1966. In September 1995 Richard became the first Lifeboat Operations Manager at the station when the position of Honorary Secretary was amalgamated in to the new role. Since 1 st March 1986 to the 10 th August the lifeboat has launched 557 times saving 88 lives.

Over nearly 4 decades, Richard has seen many changes. When he joined, the station boat was a D class inflatable which was operational from March to October the boat was housed in a wooden Hardun hut. Then in 1985 a new brick constructed boat house was built and in 1986 a new C class inflatable lifeboat was placed on station. It was during the trials of the C class boat that Richard and the then Divisional Inspector, Mike Pennell, broke their wrists identically

The current boathouse was built in 1995 and in 1996 the station was upgraded to an Atlantic lifeboat station that is now operational 365 days a year.

As one of the Institutions Divisional Inspectors wrote ‘During Richards time at Rye Harbour there must be many people who have been rescued who owe a debt of gratitude to him and the past and present crew’.

On behalf of the Committee and Crew at Rye Harbour Lifeboat station I would like to offer our most sincere congratulations on Richards award of the RNLI’s Gold Badge and also for all he has done and continues to do towards the cause of saving lives at sea.

Steve Tollett
Honorary Station Branch Chairman

Charity Registered in England: 209603