Express & Star

Sea rescue chiefs ‘humbled’ to be included in King’s Birthday Honours

Mark Dowie and Peter Mizen are honoured for services to maritime safety.

Peter Mizen, chief coastguard, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, who is made an MBE

Two sea rescue chiefs have said they are “honoured and humbled” to be included in the King’s Birthday Honours.

Mark Dowie, chief executive of the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), is made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE), and Peter Mizen, chief coastguard at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, is made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), both for services to maritime safety.

Mr Dowie, who will step down from his role on June 26 after five years, began his career as a Royal Navy officer in 1982. Since then, he has worked in finance and held an executive position at Standard Chartered Bank before joining the RNLI in 2019.

He said: “I am very honoured and humbled to be included in the King’s Birthday Honours, but see this as recognition for all the sacrifice, courage and commitment given by the RNLI’s One Crew over the last few tumultuous years.

RNLI chief executive Mark Dowie stands at the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset
RNLI chief executive Mark Dowie is made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) (Ben Birchall/PA)

“Leading the RNLI has been an enormous privilege and I now intend to return to volunteering with the RNLI as a vice president and as a fundraising team member at my home station.”

A keen sailor, Mr Dowie is also a former justice of the peace, trustee of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and vice chairman and trustee of the Britannia Association.

He and his family, who include his wife Hazel and their three adult children, live near Kingsbridge in south Devon.

Mr Mizen’s 30-year career at HM Coastguard has seen him lead the organisation through times of crisis.

This has included the 2008 Gloucester floods, when he planned and led the first national Coastguard deployment in support of a civil authority emergency, the Covid pandemic and Storms Babet, Agnes and Ciaran.

He told the PA news agency: “I’m thrilled and humbled to be recognised by the King.

“I’m grateful to all the staff and volunteers who have supported me and made my role easier.

“I also want to pay tribute to my wife Joanne. My role means I spend a lot of time away from home and she always supports me. Without her, this wouldn’t have been possible.”

Mr Mizen, who has two adult sons, joined HM Coastguard as a volunteer in the early 1990s.

When asked which moments stand out for him, he said: “The 2008 Gloucester floods is one I’ll always remember.

“It lasted around three or four weeks and we were working with other agencies. We were sleeping on garage floors and the camaraderie was so strong. It really brought people together.”

Others being honoured include David Corben, chairman of Lifeboat Management, who is made an MBE for voluntary service to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, and Colin Moir, a volunteer Coastguard rescue officer and deputy station officer in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, who is awarded a British Empire Medal for services to search and rescue.

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