Scarborough Lifeboat coxswain gets MBE

Tom Clark by Dave Barry
Tom Clark by Dave Barry

One of Scarborough Lifeboat's longest service volunteers has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Tom Clark, who joined the lifesaving organisation more than 30 years ago, has been given the honour for his services to the RNLI and the Scarborough Sub-Aqua Club.

Tom Clark MBE at the helm of Scarborough's lifeboat

Tom Clark MBE at the helm of Scarborough's lifeboat

Tom joined Scarborough RNLI 32 years ago, on April 4 1984.

He was asked to join by John Pearson, who was then in charge of the inshore lifeboat and is now a deputy launching authority with the RNLI.

He has been coxswain for 14 years and has trained in all aspects of search-and-rescue work such as navigation, boat handling and search-and-rescue patterns.

He said: “You’re trained up over a long period and you gather your experience over the years so you can make the right decision on the day.

“I’ve worked with some really nice, wonderful characters,” he says. “Over 32 years of working with these people it rubs off on you, it moulds you into what you are today.”

Tom was notified by post that he had been nominated for an honour.

He added: “When I read the letter, I got a bit emotional. People like me don’t get things like this. It absolutely knocked me for six, I was flabbergasted. It was the last thing I ever expected to be getting in the post.

“It’s an honour and a privilege but my job is an honour and a privilege. I feel like it’s recognition of the hard work and dedication of the whole station including the crew and the wider team of people who give up their time for Scarborough RNLI.

“I’m very patriotic and a real royalist,” says Tom, who is one of 10 members of Scarborough RNLI heading to London this weekend for the Queen’s official birthday party in the Mall.

Tom is a father to Josh and Jenny, and he is engaged to Nicky Ridley.

RNLI lifeboat operations manager John Senior MBE paid tribute to Tom.

He said: "He has served the RNLI for more than 30 years and has taken part in a number of famous rescues. He's now been a coxswain for more than a decade and has guided a number of very talented crews

"It is a wonderful honour for this incredibly brave individual and I want to congratulate him on behalf of all the crew and volunteers at Scarborough RNLI.

"It is richly deserved."