Belfast Telegraph

RNLI members pay tribute after death of veteran coxswain Francie Morgan

Respected: Francie Morgan
Respected: Francie Morgan
Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

The crew of a Co Down RNLI station have paid tribute to a former member after he passed away.

Francie Morgan was a former station coxswain in Newcastle and RNLI staff coxswain.

Mr Morgan had also worked in the Belfast Telegraph's art department for many years.

Newcastle lifeboat operations manager Lisa Ramsden said: "Everyone at Newcastle RNLI will miss Francie Morgan.

"He had a long history with the station and even though he went on to be a staff coxswain at the RNLI, covering stations far and wide in the institution, he was no stranger to his local station, frequently calling in for a catch-up with his beloved dog Murphy in tow."

Mr Morgan started volunteering for the RNLI in 1969 before transferring to the lifeboat in 1972.

He became second coxswain in 1985 and was appointed to the senior role of station coxswain in 1987.

"He spoke the truth and from the heart. He called things as he saw them, knowing that in lifeboating you had to be precise and right - lives depended on it," said Ms Ramsden.

"Francie was passionate about the RNLI and the volunteers on the coast. He was extremely proud to have been coxswain in Newcastle and was honoured to receive an MBE from the Queen for his services to the RNLI."

She added: "He had a magnificent presence, a booming voice and a hearty laugh. He is so much a part of the rich history of the Newcastle lifeboat station and we will miss him.

"His legacy to the RNLI will be the lives that were saved on the many callouts he attended, and the many skills and attributes he passed on to so many lifeboat volunteers. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his wife, children and family circle at this terribly sad time."

Funeral details have yet to be announced.

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