A north east lifeboatman is to receive an MBE at Buckingham Palace later this week.
Bill Deans MBE, who received news of his award in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June, is to receive his award in an investiture ceremony this Thursday (October 11).
Mr Deans’ award recognises his 42 years’ service to saving lives at sea with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution at its Aberdeen Lifeboat Station.
Bill (68) will be accompanied at Buckingham Palace by his wife, Pat, their daughter and grand-daughter.
Speaking of his award, Bill Deans 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.”
Bill was a police constable when he volunteered to train as an inshore lifeboat crew-member in 1976. 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.
Bill was born in Aberdeen but it was his mother’s family roots in Stronsay, Orkney, which inspired his interest in the RNLI. He now lives in Belhelvie with his wife, Pat. The couple have two children and two grandchildren.
Dr Margaret Farquhar CBE, chair of the Aberdeen Branch of the RNLI and former Lord Provost of Aberdeen, added: “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.”