South West Wales

New Year Honours: Two lifeboat crewmen awarded MBEs

David 'Graham' Drinkwater Image copyright Royal National Lifeboat Institute
Image caption David "Graham" Drinkwater has served at Holyhead Lifeboat station for more than 50 years

Two Welsh lifeboat crewmen who have served for more than 80 years between them have been awarded MBEs.

David Drinkwater of Holyhead and Richard Harris of Port Talbot both were listed among dozens of recipients on the New Year Honours list.

The pair were given their MBEs for saving lives at sea and service to the Royal National Lifeboat Institute.

More than 20 people were awarded MBEs in Wales as part of the New Year's Honours 2019 list.

"It was a surprise to me. I was embarrassed and not really expecting it," Mr Drinkwater said.

The 71-year-old said he still plans to carry on his work with the RNLI.

He added that it was "very humbling" and "a great honour" to get the MBE.

Mr Harris, who has volunteered at Port Talbot Lifeboat station for more than 30 years, said that he "never expected" the award.

"I could not have done it without the wonderful support of the crew, past and present and also my management and fundraising teams," he said.

"I was totally surprised and taken aback when I was informed of this award."

RNLI chief executive Paul Boissier said: "I am immensely proud of all our tireless staff and volunteers who received Honours this year - it is wonderful that these well-deserving people have been recognised.

"We could not carry on our lifesaving work without them," he added.