An Aberdeen lifeboat veteran who has been involved in more than 634 rescues will receive his MBE at Buckingham Palace this week.
Bill Deans received the news of his award for his services to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June and will receive his award at an investiture ceremony on Thursday.
His award recognises his 42 years’ service to saving lives at sea with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution at its Aberdeen Lifeboat Station.
Bill will be accompanied by his wife, Pat, their daughter and grand-daughter.
Speaking of his award, Bill said: “I was speechless when I heard I had been awarded an MBE and, in truth, I’m still speechless about it today. It’s an extraordinary privilege for me – but it is also recognition of the work done by everyone around me at Aberdeen Lifeboat Station. The crews through those 42 years, the support team and fundraisers – and of course my family who have supported me throughout.”
The 68-year-old has been volunteering with the group since 1976 when he was a police constable.
In 1985 he also joined the crew of the city’s all-weather lifeboat, training as a first-aider, mechanic and, ultimately, 2nd Coxswain.
On completing his police service in 2002, Bill took up an RNLI staff appointment as Divisional Trainer/Assessor supporting lifeboat stations and crews throughout Scotland and Ireland for 15 years.
A veteran of more than 634 rescues, Bill retired from active crew service in 2010 but began volunteering as a deputy launching authority before, in 2015, being invited to take up his present role as Lifeboat Operations Manager at Aberdeen Lifeboat Station.
Dr Margaret Farquhar CBE, chairwoman of the Aberdeen Branch of the RNLI and former Lord Provost of Aberdeen, said: “Bill Deans has led, trained and inspired generations of lifeboat crews, not just in Aberdeen but across Scotland and Ireland. His many friends in the RNLI are delighted to see his 42 years’ service recognised through his appointment as MBE.”