Dorset

Swanage RNLI man 'honoured' by royal party invite

Martin Steeden, coxswain of Swanage RNLI station
Image caption Martin Steeden has been a volunteer for the Swanage RNLI for 34 years

The coxswain of a Dorset lifeboat station has described an invitation to a garden party at Buckingham Palace as an "honour".

The invitation is in recognition of Martin Steeden's 34 years of voluntary service to the RNLI in Swanage.

During that time he says he has taken part in around 1,500 sea rescues.

Every summer, the Queen hosts three garden parties at Buckingham Palace as a way of rewarding those involved in public service.

He said: "It's quite an honour to be asked as volunteering at the RNLI is a family tradition.

"My father-in-law was once a coxswain and now my two sons, and nephew, volunteer at the station too."

Mr Steeden, whose role as coxswain means he takes full responsbility for each sea rescue launched from the station, will go to the Palace on 19 July with his wife Karina.

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