Former coxswain of Wells Lifeboat, Graham Walker MBE, passed away on Sunday 8th September following a long illness. Wells Lifeboat Station, its crews, shore-helpers, station officials and fundraising guild have lost a valued friend and colleague and all send their heartfelt condolences to his family.
Graham joined the lifeboat crew in 1962 and his record of service was varied and unbroken until his retirement in 1997. He served as Motor Mechanic from 1982, became Second Coxswain/Mechanic in 1987 and took over as Coxswain Mechanic in 1989.
During the period when Graham was a serving lifeboat crew member at the station the lifeboat launched 566 times, saved 304 lives; the total number of people rescued (including the lives saved) was 471.
In 1979 Graham was on the crew when an RNLI Silver Medal was awarded to Coxswain David Cox when the lifeboat stood by the cargo vessel Savinesti in a hurricane, sub-zero temperatures and a very rough sea. In 1981 he was awarded the Bronze medal for the service to the Sara K. In addition he was warded a Long Service Badge in 1984 and received letters of commendation in 1991 and 1993. Additionally, the station received a letter of commendation for the service to the fishing vessel Remus carried out under Graham's command. Graham being was awarded the MBE in the Queen's 1997 New Year's Honours List. He was also Harbour Master at Wells from 1989 to 2001.
With friends from all areas connected with the lifeboat service, ranging from lifeboat house visitors, crew and guild members, foreign lifeboatmen to those who hold high positions of authority in the RNLI, Graham will always be regarded as a warm, humourous and reliable lifeboatman... a view which, one can be sure, is shared by those he assisted at sea.