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Aberdeen lifeboat hero involved in 600 rescues given MBE for his achievements

Saturday June 9th 2018 at 8:40 PM

A North-east man and former lifeboat crew member has been named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Bill Deans from Belhelvie, who is also the current lifeboat operations manager at the Aberdeen station, will receive an MBE.

In his 42 year career, he was involved in 634 rescues, and immediately took up volunteering with the RNLI onshore when he retired from active crew service eight years ago.

He began volunteering as a crew member for the Aberdeen lifeboat service in 1976 while working as a police constable.

In 2002 he retired from his police job and took up an RNLI staff appointment as a divisional trainer and assessor in which he had for 15 years.

Bill Deans was involved in the spectacular rescue of an offshore helicopter

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Mr Deans was involved in a spectacular rescue effort in summer 1980, when a helicopter from an offshore platform landed in the North sea 20 nautical miles off Aberdeen. 

He said: “Visibility was dreadful and there was a wallowing swell. We crept in through the fog and I was amazed to find the helicopter floating upright, just as it was designed to.”

The helicopter’s 2 crew and 13 passengers who evacuated to life rafts were taken on the Aberdeen lifeboat and were flown back to Aberdeen by another heli which winched them onboard.

“It was a long tow back – about 7 hours as I recall – but all ended well.”

Mr Deans spoke to Original 106 News about being listed for an MBE. 

You can listen to a clip from the interview:

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