Lifeboat coxswain Mike Russell could not have been more modest as he spoke about the sea rescues that he has undertaken over the past 30 years.
“You’re only as good as your crew,” he said.
Yet, while there exists a very special camaraderie between these volunteers because of the risks they face, and how they have to entrust each other with their lives, the sacrifices made by families should not be overlooked.
As Mr Russell said in an interview with The Yorkshire Post to mark the end of his sea-faring days, there’s been countless occasion when he’s left his family in a restaurant – or with a trolley of food in the supermarket – because duty called.
Countless people owe their lives to the rescue crews stationed around the country’s coastline, hence the charity’s ongoing appeals to benefactors and, in particular, all those who use and cherish the seaside. As Mr Russell said of the RNLI’s many fundraisers and supporters: “We wouldn’t be here without them.” It’s a sobering thought.