RNLI volunteer 'will be sorely missed'

RNLI Portishead volunteer Peter Duncan

RNLI Portishead volunteer Peter Duncan. - Credit: RNLI Portishead

A volunteer has died after 10 years of helping to save lives at sea.

Peter Duncan joined RNLI Portishead in 2011 when it was an independent rescue service, Portishead Lifeboat Trust, operating from Sugar Loaf Beach.

As part of the voluntary rescue service, Peter joined as a shore crew initially, helping to launch the lifeboat and prepare her for service again once returning from call-outs and training.

In 2013, Peter became one of the deputy launch authorities (DLA), he demonstrated a clear reflection of the high standards that you need for the vital role. His enthusiasm and commitment was clear and he served in his DLA role for a further eight years.

DLA's are a small team of volunteers who are a pivotal part of the operational crew. They have the responsibility to take the call from the HM Coastguard when the charity is required to launch on service.

The DLA makes the decision to launch, alert the crew via pager and liaise with the coastguards during the call-out, no matter what time of day or night.

Dave Slack, lifeboat operations manager said: "Trustworthy, dependable, selfless and courageous, are the values of the RNLI and these four words sum up Peter very well. "As a deputy launching authority, Peter held a high level of responsibility and met this challenge every time he was called upon to do so.

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"As an RNLI crew, our volunteers demonstrate our core values in different ways, and these values often drive us on, through personal challenges too.

"During his illness, Peter demonstrated real courage and never gave up hope of recovering. I truly admire Peter’s strength of character and I know that this level of courage is what all of our volunteers aspire to, both ashore and at sea.

"Peter was a gentleman in many ways and he was fine example of what an RNLI volunteer should be. We will truly miss him.’

An RNLI spokesman added: "Peter has no doubt helped to save many lives and assist countless more."

"We cannot thank him enough for his voluntary service to the Portishead Lifeboat Trust and since our adoption, the RNLI. He will be sorely missed by us all.

Our deepest condolences go to Peter’s wife Mary, their family and friends. Fair winds, Peter."

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