Sixty-nine-year-old Phil Eaglen has been a lifeboat volunteer since 1967, and remains a vital part of the shore crew at Wells RNLI. The emergency mechanic for the Norfolk station, he was described as the “backbone” of the operation when he was honoured for a half-century of service in 2019.
Eaglen would normally have retired at 65 but circumstances at the station have kept him working there, alongside his son and grand-daughter. Now he has become one of six RNLI volunteers to be recognised in the New Year’s Honours list for their role in helping to save lives at sea – a role for which many UK scuba divers have cause to be thankful.
Also awarded an MBE is Michael Whistler, a volunteer at Southend, Essex, who has dedicated more than 40 years to the lifeboat service.