Volunteers celebrated for their 'commitment and dedication'

Bangor lifeboat station has been awarded the Freedom of the Borough of North Down.

A ceremony to honour the RNLI volunteers for their heroic service during the 45 years since the station was founded was held on Saturday (18 September 2010).

The ceremony was attended by councillors from North Down Borough Council, volunteer crew, fundraisers and helpers from RNLI Bangor lifeboat. Following the official proceedings, the Mayor of North Down inspected the Bangor lifeboat crew, before they launched the lifeboat and undertook a special sea rescue demonstration.

The Mayor presented the station with a specially commissioned plaque and commemorative glasses made by Belfast Crystal. In keeping with the nautical theme, Bangor’s Lifeboat Operations Manager Kevin Byers presented members of the council with an engraved ship’s brass barometer and clock set.

“We wish to take this opportunity to publicly thank North Down Borough Council for their continued support and for today honouring RNLI Bangor Lifeboat with this most prestigious award,” said Mr Byers.

“It is a truly fitting tribute to the commitment and dedication of the RNLI Bangor volunteer crew, station personnel, fundraisers and helpers, both past and present, who have devoted so much of their time and effort to saving life at sea.”

The Mayor, Councillor John Montgomery said, “This award honours everyone connected with the lifeboat station in Bangor – the crew, station management, fundraisers and helpers. Since the foundation of the present station in 1965, more than 100 local people have served as crew members.”

Jessie Hillyard, the station’s present Atlantic 85 lifeboat, entered service in 2006, and its crew aims to launch the boat in under four minutes from when their rescue pagers are activated. The Freedom of the Borough is the highest honour that a Council can confer upon a citizen or organisation.