RNLI volunteer at Poole station has saved 18 lives

Paul Taylor being presented with his 30-year long service medal <i>(Image: RNLI Poole Lifeboat Station)</i>
Paul Taylor being presented with his 30-year long service medal (Image: RNLI Poole Lifeboat Station)

AN RNLI volunteer has been celebrated for rescuing hundreds of people and saving 18 lives over three decades.

Paul Taylor, who volunteers at Poole Lifeboat Station, has been presented with his 30-year-long service medal.

Paul first joined the RNLI on his 17th birthday in 1992, seeing him become part of the St Davids crew in Wales.

During his time as a volunteer in Wales, he served as crew on the all-weather Tyne-class lifeboat and also on a D-class inshore lifeboat.

He recalls a memorable shout with St Davids where he rescued a ‘shaken’ yachtsman onboard a sinking 40 ft yacht.

By the time he and the casualty were safe in the lifeboat, the yacht had sunk.

In 2005, Paul took up the full-time role of station mechanic on the Tyne-class at Poole and relocated to the south coast, before becoming a full-time crew member on the Thames in 2016.

Today, and still with the RNLI, he works as a divisional assessor trainer in the southeast and volunteers at Poole Lifeboat Station as a deputy launch authority.

Over the 30 years Paul has dedicated to the RNLI, he has launched on more than 510 shouts, rescued 652 people and saved 18 lives.

Paul said: “I feel immensely proud to reach this milestone. I have to pinch myself to believe it’s been 30 years, I can’t believe it was 10 years ago when I received my 20-year badge.

“It’s always been one team effort, and I couldn’t have achieved what I’ve done without the support of my family. Hopefully, I can continue to share my knowledge and help save lives at sea for many more years to come.”

Matt Thomas, Poole Lifeboat operations manager, said: “Paul’s dedication to the RNLI is evident when you look at the number of people he has helped rescue, combine this with the other roles he’s held such as a divisional assessor trainer, lifeboat fundraising chair, and now a valued part of our team at Poole, he’s a credit to the RNLI.”