Torbay RNLI lifeboat mechanic retires after 30 years' service
A LIFEBOAT volunteer mechanic has retired after 30 years of charity service.
Nigel Coulton was the third mechanic on Torbay lifeboat and reached the RNLI retirement age of 55 a short while ago.
His fellow crew members marked his retirement by holding a well-attended party at Brixham Yacht Club.
Nigel joined the crew in 1982 and served on both the inshore life boat and the all-weather lifeboats.
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He retired from the inshore crew in 1998 but continued to play a leading role on the all-weather boat until 2012.
He was made emergency mechanic from 2000 until 2007 and, in 2008, was made up to third mechanic.
During Nigel's time on Torbay lifeboat crew, 464 lives were saved.
Coxwain Mark Criddle said: "Nigel was a model crew member. He was always there when we needed him."
A popular member of the Torbay Lifeboat crew, Nigel was sometimes 'loaned' to other stations in the South West as a relief mechanic to cover for sickness and holidays.
An RNLI spokesman said: "Nigel's smiling face has been seen around Torbay as he featured on the Herald Express vans as part of their local livery in the 1990s, a point which caused him great embarrassment and the subject of much jibing from his fellow crew."
Nigel received a framed certificate from the RNLI which was signed by the chairman and the chief executive thanking him for his service.
He was also presented with a miniature Caterpillar engine from the crew.
On the same evening, coxwain and lifeboat operations manager Stuart Elliman presented 20 current crew members with Queen's diamond jubilee medals.
These were awarded to current serving crew members who have completed at least five years of service.
Paramedic John Ashford was also awarded a long-service badge for 40 years' service to the RNLI.