HM Coastguard volunteer retires after 30 years' service

Last week, George Foxton, a volunteer team leader with Her Majesty’s Coastguard in Llandudno, retired after an incredible three decades' worth of service with the coastguard.

Over the past 30 years, George has been a key part of HM Coastguard on the north Wales coast – attending incidents from cliff rescues to people being stuck in the mud. 

At 66 but still as fit as a fiddle, George is retiring and is keen to see a new generation of volunteers not only follow in his footsteps but continue the pride and passion he demonstrated throughout his volunteering years.

It has been quite a journey for the Scotland native, who moved to Devon for work in 1972 and went on to meet Ann, who would later become his wife, in the west country. In 1986, Ann's ties with Llandudno saw the couple move permanently to the seaside town.

As recognition of his service with HM Coastguard – George will receive a bar to go with his long service medal and a letter of acknowledgement from the chief coastguard.

“I’ve not regretted one day any of it. I was thinking to myself the other day ‘would I do it all again?’ The answer to my question was a resounding ‘yes’. It has been a great pleasure to have been part of a brilliant team and help people over the years,” George said.

George pictured at a Remembrance Day event, representing HM Coastguard.

Throughout his service with HM Coastguard, George also worked as a staff member for North Wales Police – combining his emergency service duties with real aplomb and serving the local community with distinction.

“Volunteering for the coastguard and working for the police has really been a seamless fit for me,” said George, whose retirement plans include moving house, spending time with his family and switching off his pager…finally (!). “The balance has been fantastic and my colleagues at the police have always been brilliant in giving me that flexibility to attend call-outs at short notice with the coastguard.

“I’ve enjoyed the work tremendously over the years and we’ve always had such a great team spirit and a really close-knit team at Llandudno. For me, the comradery, getting to know people and spending a lot of time in the local area, have always been the elements of the role which I’ve loved the most.

“I’ll probably miss the team banter and the training exercises; as well as working with Coastguard Rescue Teams and our colleagues at the RNLI from different patches.”

George, who very sadly lost his wife Ann four years ago, went on to say: “Volunteering is not just a commitment for you but all of your family – especially when the pager can go off at any time. I’m looking forward to a bit more time to focus on the retirement plans I have and build up from there really.

“By me retiring, I hope it makes room for some young volunteers to come through, get involved and do their bit for the local community.”

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