Billy first joined the RNLI as a volunteer at Oban Lifeboat station in 1975, just a few years after the station itself was founded in 1972.At the time the station would have been operating its first lifeboat, a 18’ McLachlan inshore lifeboat, providing cover only during the summer months.
The first all-weather lifeboat arrived on scene in 1978, quickly followed by a newer model, before the current Trent class, Mora Edith MacDonald, came on to the scene in 1997.
Starting off as a crew member, Billy progressed through the ranks to become an Emergency Mechanic, followed by Deputy Coxswain and finally 2nd Coxswain. He then took on the station’s Lifeboat Operations Manager role.
During his time he also received the Thanks of the Institution on Vellum.
The prestigious gold badge award, presented at the RNLI’s award ceremony in Perth, recognises Billy’s significant contribution and dedication to the charity over the years. He remains an integral part of the lifeboat family.
The station would like to say a big congratulations and thank you to Billy for eveything he does and has done in helping to save lives at sea.
Mike Robertson Chair of Oban RNLI says: ‘I think that word “fun” is important, both about the huge contribution Billy has made to the station over the years, and to other crew members and volunteers taking part in the lifeboat family at Oban.
‘Billy has always been very much involved in the likes of station BBQs , which used to include “Malt&Salt” events at the distillery, raft races, and latterly Open Day events. As the current station Lifeboat Operations Manager Billy gives a huge amount of voluntary time and work on behalf of the station. His award of the RNLI gold medal is richly deserved.’