A COASTGUARD officer has spoke of his pride after receiving an MBE from the Queen.

Malcolm Wright, a watch officer in the Portland Coastguard ops room, travelled to Windsor Castle with his wife Jill, daughter Gemma and son Tom, to receive his honour.

The award is in recognition of his 40 years helping to save lives and assisting stricken seafarers.

Retired teacher Mr Wright of Weymouth is Portland Coastguard’s longest serving coastguard. He was a volunteer rescue officer with Wyke Coastguard before joining the ops room team.

Mr Wright explained how all those receiving an accolade were taken to a room to learn how to address the Queen and the protocol.

He said: “It was very exciting – nerve wrecking but exciting.”

He said the Queen asked lots of questions about where he worked and what his job was like.

Mr Wright said: “She was absolutely delightful. She had this ability to make you feel comfortable in an instant.”

To be in the parts of Windsor Castle the public didn’t get to see was ‘awe-inspiring,’ he said.

Mr Wright said he felt he was representing not just himself and his family, but his friends and colleagues that enabled him to get the award. He said: “I felt it was important to get it right not just for me but for them too.”

His 40 years service felt almost ‘impossible to believe’ as he felt it had gone very quickly, adding: “It’s been influential in modelling the outlook and person I have turned out to be.”

Mr Wright thanked his friends, family and colleagues at both Wyke Regis coastguard rescue team and the ops room in Weymouth, watch manager Ros Evans and rescue centre manager Mark Rodaway.

Mr Wright began his coastguard career at Portland Bill in 1973, before moving to the Wyke Regis team, becoming station officer in 2001. He taught at Portland Secondary School and when he retired he joined the Portland MRCC as a watch officer while still a volunteer at Wyke Regis.

Earlier this year he retired from the Wyke team but will work in the operations room until it closes later this year.

However, Mr Wright plans to continue his work by volunteering with the RNLI.