Having attended 300 incidents and clocked up more than 1,000 hours at sea on rescues, Swanage Lifeboat volunteer Colin Marks is handing back his pager for a final time.
Colin, who joined the team in January 1993, first served on the inshore D-Class lifeboat and then after 10 years, moved to volunteer on the all weather lifeboat for a further 13 years.
Colin Marks retiring after 30 years
All weather lifeboat assistant mechanic
During this time as part of the seagoing crew, Colin took on the additional responsibility of being one of the all weather lifeboat assistant mechanics, monitoring and maintaining the lifeboat while at sea.
He also gave up an extra evening every week to work on the maintenance of the lifeboat so that it was always ready to go to sea.
Former Swanage RNLI crew. Left to right: Martin Steeden, Chris Haw, Colin Marks, John Deare, Neil Hardy and Dave Corben
Remarkable 30 years of service
In 2016 after 23 years of being on the lifeboats, Colin switched to become a shore-based volunteer, taking on the responsibility of Deputy Launch Authority. This involved overseeing the lifeboat launches following the request from HM Coastguard for assistance.
For a further seven years he continued to volunteer in this role, completing a remarkable 30 years of service at Swanage Lifeboat Station.
A varied career for Colin included being one of the all weather lifeboat assistant mechanics
New recruits in 1993
Swanage Lifeboat coxswain, Dave Turnbull said:
“I was fortunate to join the lifeboat crew as part of a group of new recruits that included Colin. We were recruited as crew for the RNLI’s new D-class lifeboat. Initially the D-class came to Swanage on trial for the summer of 1993 and the trial lifeboat was then withdrawn for the winter.
“The inshore D-class lifeboat came back to Swanage for summer 1994 and on trial for winter 1994 until spring 1995. Following the success of the trials the new D-class lifeboat came to Swanage all year round, making Swanage a two lifeboat station.
Colin was a new recruit alongside Dave Turnbull, who is now the full time coxswain at Swanage Lifeboat Station
“I have been lucky to be able to volunteer alongside Colin”
“When we joined there were a number of long serving crew to share their experience and tales of being at sea on the lifeboat. As we joined together, Colin was very much a part of my early years on the crew and the following 20 years, where we went to sea regularly on both lifeboats.
“We have also now both become some of the station’s longest serving volunteers. I have been lucky to be able to volunteer alongside Colin for so many years, to get to know his family and to have many fond and funny memories.
“I hope that Colin enjoys his retirement without interruptions from a pager!”
Colin Marks pictured far left, with other members of the seagoing crew at the time