Paul Boissier takes over from Andrew Freemantle

After over a decade in charge, Andrew Freemantle (left) has retired as Chief Executive of The Royal National Lifeboat Institution. In his farewell ceremony – which included being dumped into Poole Harbour and fished out again by an inshore life boat – his colleagues remembered, among other things, his cycle-ride to Rome when he raised £60,000 for the RNLI memorial to commemorate all those who have lost their lives while helping to save others.

‘It has been a great privilege and pleasure to have been at the helm of the RNLI for nearly 11 years,’ said Freemantle. ‘With support, I have been able to move this great Institution forward during this time. The fact that this has happened has been due to the professionalism, commitment and cooperation of the staff, volunteers and Trustees, and because of the public’s goodwill and support.’

The RNLI’s new CEO is Paul Boissier, a Cambridge graduate who recently retired from the Royal Navy where he took command of submarines and the frigate HMS Chatham during his time in the service. A keen sailor, he cruises north Europe and the Mediterranean with his wife Susie in Snow Goose.

He is aware of the challenges the charity faces. ‘Taking charge of a charity at a time of global financial uncertainty is a challenge,’ said Boissier. ‘In the short term, I would like to ensure the charity can get through the current recession, but at the same time to position the RNLI so that during economic recovery we’re able to take the next steps forward.

‘None of us should lose track of the fact that we’re in a tough climate and the ultimate measure of success will be keeping the lifeboats afloat across the UK and Republic of Ireland. The RNLI is a very sound organisation and I believe, with the public’s continued trust and support, we will succeed in this.’