Port’s captain fantastic in lunch surprise

Capt Peter Woodworth (centre) chairman of Fleetwood Lifeboat branch, receives an award from Michael Vlasto OBE (right), retired operations director of the RNLI, while Fleetwood operations director Capt Dave Eccles (left) looks on.

Capt Peter Woodworth (centre) chairman of Fleetwood Lifeboat branch, receives an award from Michael Vlasto OBE (right), retired operations director of the RNLI, while Fleetwood operations director Capt Dave Eccles (left) looks on.

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A veteran volunteer with Fleetwood Lifeboat was given two pleasant surprises during a lunch to celebrate his 30 years with the branch.

Captain Peter Woodworth has held a number of roles with the group over the last three decades and this milestone was being celebrated with a lunch at the town’s Trafalgar Restaurant.

It was a fantastic day and a great honour to receive the award

He was firstly surprised to receive a bar to the gold medal for his ‘valuable support of the lifeboat service’ for the past 30 years.

But the biggest surprise came when the award was presented by a major figure in the RNLI whom Peter hadn’t seen for many years.

Michael Vlasto OBE, the recently retired operations director to the RNLI, travelled to Fleetwood specially to hand Peter the award.

Peter, 80, who lives on Fouldrey Avenue, Poulton, said: “The presentation came as a big surprise, but nothing like the surprise at seeing Michael again.

“It was a fantastic day and a great honour to receive the award.”

Peter joined Fleetwood RNLI as deputy launching authority in 1986, after becoming involved with the volunteer lifeboat crew at Fleetwood Nautical College, where he worked as a lecturer.

After almost 20 years as lifeboat operations manager, Peter became chairman of the Fleetwood branch, a post he still holds today.