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Dupre Strutt, Kirkwall RNLI Awarded MBE

Dupre Strutt, Mechanic at RNLI Kirkwall Lifeboat Station and retired Area Lifesaving Manager for Scotland has been awarded an MBE in the King’s New Year Honours List for his outstanding contribution to the RNLI.

Dupre followed in his father’s footsteps in joining the lifeboat, having grown up in the station. Since joining in 1983, Dupre has given 39 years of service to the RNLI, in which time he has been directly involved in over 300 rescues, saving over 60 lives.

Commenting on his award Dupre said:

‘I feel proud of what we’ve achieved and like I’ve made a difference to the seafaring community. Knowing that there’ll be some families together that wouldn’t have been because of that contribution makes me proud.

‘I feel very honoured to have been given this award, but I also feel that it’s a reflection on the RNLI itself and all the volunteers. If it wasn’t for all the volunteers and the support of their families, we wouldn’t have the service we have.

‘I’m a part of a team, and if it wasn’t for the operational volunteers at sea, the fundraising volunteers that raise money and the public that support the RNLI we couldn’t continue and I wouldn’t have been able to make the difference that I’ve been able to make.’

Five volunteers from the charity have been recognised by His Majesty The King.

Volunteer Mechanic and Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) at Kirkcudbright Lifeboat Station William ‘John’ Collins has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for his dedication to the RNLI and the community in the town. 

He joined the station in 1991 as a mechanic, a role which he continues to this day alongside his duties as LOM, and quickly progressed within the crew serving as helm for the Atlantic Inshore Lifeboat.

Over the last 30 years, John has been an exemplary ambassador for the RNLI in engaging the local community in the work of the charity. Recently he spearheaded the redevelopment of an unused plot of land adjacent to the station which has been transformed into the Kirkcudbright Community Garden.

John said:

‘I feel honoured to receive this award for what I’ve done for the lifeboats and the Kirkcudbright community, but we do the job because of the love of it, not for the recognition.

‘I’m part of a great crew here – everybody gets on, it’s a good atmosphere and it runs well – and this award is as much a reflection of their dedication as it is mine.’

Outside of the RNLI, John is employed as the local school bus driver and during the pandemic he extended this role to deliver essential medical supplies around the area.

RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie said:

‘In 2022, the RNLI has seen a welcome return to volunteer recognition events following the pandemic, with hundreds being recognised for long service and excellence in volunteering awards. These six individuals represent the icing on the cake as we commemorate the contribution all our people have made in another busy year for our frontline services.

‘I have found you can never make assumptions about the people you meet in all roles within the RNLI; they all have fascinating back-stories and I often leave a visit feeling profoundly humbled. The stories behind these six are no exception, epitomising the RNLI’s values in all they do to save lives at sea. They richly deserve this national recognition – my congratulations to them all.’

Also included in His Majesty The King’s New Year Honours are:

Denis Brophy, Lifeboat Operations Manager, RNLI Walmer Lifeboat Station (MBE)

Edwin ‘Ted’ Luckin, Boathouse Manager, RNLI Cromer Lifeboat Station (BEM)

Rosalie Whitlock, Fundraising Secretary, RNLI Penlee Lifeboat Station (BEM)

Andrea Corrie water safety campaigner (BEM).

RNLI Trustee Lord Mark Sedwill has been made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George for services to British foreign policy, national security and HM Government. Lord Sedwill, former Cabinet Secretary and National Security Adviser, was elected to the RNLI Council in 2021 and appointed a Trustee in 2022.

This year RNLI Kirkwall crew members, past and present, joined in the celebrations for 50 years saving lives Image Credit: RNLI/Charlotte Derra

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