RNLI man makes history as oldest mechanic

Ron Churchill has become the RNLI's oldest full-time lifeboat mechanic at 61. Picture: RNLI
Ron Churchill has become the RNLI's oldest full-time lifeboat mechanic at 61. Picture: RNLI
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THE ANGUS man who made history last year by becoming Scotland’s oldest serving RNLI volunteer crewman has made the record books again - by becoming the charity’s oldest full-time lifeboat mechanic in the country at the age of 61.

Ron Churchill first hit the headlines in 2012 when he became Scotland’s oldest active lifeboat man after serving for more than 30 years with the RNLI in Arbroath.

An RNLI spokesman aid today: “Ron has now achieved further distinction by also becoming the charity’s oldest full-time lifeboat mechanic in Scotland, aged 61. Ron replaces previous full-time mechanic Allan Russell who has taken up a position as coxswain with a global seismic company.

“Ron has been second mechanic on Arbroath’s all-weather lifeboat RNLB Inchcape for a number of years.”

Mr Churchill said: “The lifeboats have been a big part of my life for more than 30 years so to be given this opportunity at my age is fantastic and I can’t wait to officially get started.”

He continued: “I already spend quite a bit of time down at the station so since I got the job I’ve been taking a fair amount of stick from the lads who reckon I’ll be moving my bed into the station before long.

“But in all seriousness, I’m very happy and I think the RNLI deserves credit for giving me this chance because all too often we hear negative stories about age being a big barrier and restricting opportunities for people.’”

Lifeboat operations manager at Arbroath, Alex Smith said: “I’m absolutely delighted for Ron who has been an excellent servant to the lifeboats here in Arbroath. Since Allan left the role to take up a new job Ron has been very enthusiastic about the possibility of becoming the new full-time mechanic at the station, so for him to be given the opportunity is fantastic and we all wish him well in his new job.”