In recognition of his 25 years’ dedicated service, and in particular the active role he has played in the welfare of countless French citizens, NSRI national spokesperson Craig Lambinon was on Monday awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Maritime (Knight in the Order of Maritime Merit), Zululand Obsever reports.
In a ceremony aboard the French surveillance frigate, ‘Floreal’, His Excellency M Christophe Farnaud, Ambassador of France to South Africa, bestowed this insignia on Lambinon.
During his quarter century serving as a volunteer at the NSRI in Cape Town, highlights of Lambinon’s achievements include being awarded the NSRI Directors Letter of Thanks for his role in the 2001 rescue of a Japanese solo sailor whose timely rescue saved him from being hit by waves and swept with his yacht onto rocks.
Lambinon was appointed as NSRI national spokesperson in 2012 and is renowned for his incredible support to both NSRI rescue crew and families of those involved in incidents at sea.
He is known for spending hours on the telephone with families awaiting news – at times tragic news – which often sees him going without sleep.
His communication with the families of those the NSRI rescues can continue for weeks and even months after the event, as families come to terms with the tragedy.
Lambinon is also the primary liaison with families of foreign casualties visiting South Africa.
‘Craig is a unique individual who manages to balance his technical knowledge and efficiency with sincere compassion,’ said NSRI Acting CEO, Mark Hughes.
‘He frequently works on multiple rescues at any one time and he never seems to sleep.
‘Craig is a deserving recipient of this honour.’
He is the first South African to receive this award.
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