Three life-saving heroes of the sea honoured for their long service to Hartlepool RNLI

Eddie Atkinson - posthumously awarded Honorary Governor of Hartlepool RNLI.

Eddie Atkinson - posthumously awarded Honorary Governor of Hartlepool RNLI.

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Three life-saving heroes of the sea have been honoured for their long service to Hartlepool RNLI.

Volunteer crew members Steve Pounder and Steve Dunnett were given the RNLI 20-year long service medals at an awards ceremony held at Ramside Hall in Durham

Hartlepool RNLI volunteers Malcolm Wallis (left), Steve Pounder (centre) and Steve Dunnett (right).

Hartlepool RNLI volunteers Malcolm Wallis (left), Steve Pounder (centre) and Steve Dunnett (right).

Eddie Atkinson, who died last October aged 91, was awarded the Honorary Life Governorship of the RNLI.

Mr Atkinson was given the posthumous award for his 41 years service as Hartlepool lifeboat station’s treasurer.

His son-in-law, Malcolm Wallis, who has taken over the role in addition to the title of press officer, said: “It was a great honour and privilege to receive the award on behalf of the family and Eddie deserved the highest award the RNLI can give to a non-operational volunteer.”

Steve Pounder has volunteered for more 20 years on both the inshore and all weather lifeboats.

It was a great honour and privilege to receive the award on behalf of the family and Eddie deserved the highest award the RNLI can give to a non-operational volunteer

Malcolm Wallis

Recently, he became the lifeboat station visits officer, giving talks to schools and clubs on the work of the RNLI both in Hartlepool and nationally.

He said: “My Dad was Coxwain and I guess I just followed him into the RNLI although I didn’t join until I was in my mid 30s.

“It’s been a great experience and one I wouldn’t have missed for the world.”

Steve Dunnett said: “I was an instructor with the diving club and was asked if I would join Hartlepool lifeboat crew and help the mechanics.

“I was a qualified mechanic and held all the first aid qualifications and it seem a natural progression.

“I have enjoyed the teamwork working with like minded people and being involved with water based activities.

“Two of my sons have followed me into the RNLI at Hartlepool.”

Hartlepool RNLI operations manager Mike Craddy said: “We are all so proud of our volunteers, whether they are crew members or officials, they all do a great job to help save lives at sea.”