Four Margate Coastguard members recognised for combined 110 years of service

Pete Overton, Mike Emptage, Keith Silcock, divisional commander Mike Bill and Stuart Barnes Photo Dave Stillman

One hundred and ten years of service from just four Margate Coastguard members was celebrated at a presentation of long service awards last night (October 11).

With most Coastguard stations seeing shorter service, often due to work commitments, an award of 20 years service is becoming more unusual. But at Margate members have a combined service of some 230 years and awards last night were for two members giving 20 years, one with 30 years and another with an astonishing 40 years.

Keith with Mike Bill

Keith Silcock received his 40 years of service award – as well as a late 30 years service certificate – from HM Coastguard divisional commander Mike Bill  and south east area commander Matt Pavitt.

Matt said: “In that 40 years (Keith) has made a massive impact on everyone” and noted that the commitment meant “missed family meals, birthdays, key family events.”

Pete receives his award

Builder Pete Overton received his 30 year long service award and was acknowledged as a “fundamental part of the team.”

Stuart Barnes

Go2Sea boat excursion boss Stuart Barnes and Home Office staff member Mike Emptage were both presented with 20 year service awards.

Mike Emptage

Mike Bill told the four: “Thank you for giving the time you give, we appreciate everything you do.”

Also present at the awards was Margate station officer Mark Gambrill. He said: “We have had 180 call outs this year. Sometimes that might be something we can’t do anything about, like a seal washed up, but we send people out and a search might last five or six hours so lots of commitment is needed and training to keep skills up.”

The presentation was held at Thanet Indoor Bowls Club in Cliftonville.


  1. Each one deserves recognition for doing a service for their community in sometimes very difficult and dangerous situations.a service not everyone thinks about until the day they are needed. Thank you for the years of service to search and rescue,

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