A Port Talbot lifeguard has been awarded for a life spent saving lives.
Since leaving School, Ronald Jones has safeguarded the people of Port Talbot as a lifeguard at the Afan Lido and by volunteering as a coastguard with the RNLI. Mr Jonesconcedes that it has been hard work but cites a strong rapport amongst the team and the satisfaction it has brought him during his life as the positives. The passion he has for life saving began in his role at the Afan Lido and has led to volunteering with both the RNLI and HM Coastguard.
This week he was rewarded for his service and actions during this time with a coastguard’s long service medal. The award was given by Deputy station officer Graham Locke at Port Talbot coastguard station.
A diverse role sees him called on 24 hours a day and unsociable hours searching for missing people and assisting those who are vulnerable.
He mentions the “poor weather” conditions as a factor making the job “extremely difficult and stated that they “train hard to allow us to cope with the poor weather conditions”
Mr Jones said: “Over the years, there have been many times where we have been called upon to save people’s lives.
“It’s just something that I’ve got to do. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that I can help someone and be a valid member of the public.
“The job itself is still as hands on as it was years ago. You have to always carry out the same duties.
He describes how the team “all look after each other” and how the job has required them to go to Porthcawl and Mumbles. He concluded: “It can be tiring and hard but it’s what I love to do.”
Mr Jones is delighted to be recognised for his efforts over the years and has no plans to quit the day job.
He added: “To receive something for working so long and to be recognised for it is a nice award to have.
“I knew there was an award coming up but I wasn’t sure if my years had added up, but fortunately they did.
“My family are extremely proud of my work and how it’s been noticed.”
“I’m going to carry on until I’ve had enough. “At the moment I’m still enjoying myself.”