THE chief executive of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), Mark Dowie, has paid a visit to Minehead to inspect the town’s modernised boathouse.
Mr Dowie has been the charity’s chief executive since 2019 but last month announced he would be standing down.
He will be succeeded in June by Peter Sparkes, who is currently chief executive of the UK Hydrographic Office, based in Taunton.
This week, Minehead’s lifeboat crews had the opportunity to say their farewells to him as he toured the station after a £1 million revamp which was completed last year.
Mr Dowie was able to see how the boathouse modernisation project had completely transformed life for the RNLI crews, giving them their first proper changing rooms, and creating space for training sessions, and also a galley.
He also saw the new, separate boat hall for the station’s D class lifeboat, which can remain permanently attached to its tractor ready for a speedy launch through the harbour.
Minehead RNLI spokesman Sam Donati said: “He toured the updated lifeboat station and chatted to crew about their roles in the organisation, expressing pride in a ‘professional and cohesive station’.
“Mr Dowie is no stranger to the operational side of lifeboats, having served as lifeboat operations manager in Salcombe, Devon.”
Mr Dowie leaves the charity in its 200th anniversary year, having become chief executive following a varied career with roles spanning from Naval officer to positions at the highest echelons of global corporate management.