Redcar lifeboat rescuer Mike Picknett receives BEM

Mike Picknett RNLI rescuer Mike Picknett said he was shocked to learn of the honour

A volunteer lifeboat rescuer who has been saving lives for almost three decades has been honoured by the Queen.

Earlier this year Mike Picknett, of Redcar, received the RNLI's highest award for risking his life trying to rescue an angler from rough seas.

Now the 44-year-old has received the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year Honours list.

Other Teessiders honoured include Olympic rower Kat Copeland and Girl Guide leader Christine Jackson.

In February, Mr Picknett was given the RNLI's highest honour, the Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum, for his part in the rescue of an angler from the sea off Redcar's South Gare.

Mr Picknett manoeuvred the lifeboat so the crew could pull the man from the sea. The angler later died in hospital.

'Very humbling'

He said: "It's a great honour to be awarded the BEM and I will wear it with pride.

"I consider it to be a team award for all the volunteer crew at Redcar who dedicate so much of their lives to the RNLI and the work it does.

"To say that I was shocked on being told of the award would be an understatement."

Ms Copeland, 21, of Ingleby Barwick, and her rowing partner Sophie Hosking, 26, won the women's lightweight double sculls event during London 2012.

She has been appointed MBE for services to rowing, as has Mrs Jackson for services to children and young people in Crook.

Paddy Cronesberry, 61, from Thornaby, is the founder of the Middlesbrough Disabled Supporters' Association which arranges tickets and transport to games for members.

He has been appointed MBE for services to the disabled in sport.

He said: "I couldn't believe it when I got the letter. I thought someone was having me on. It's very humbling, a real honour.

"It's nice to know you're being acknowledged for a lifetime of fundraising and the things you do for other people.

"A lot of it is to do with football fans who are my friends and my family."

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