A FISHERMAN from west Dorset has been recognised for his dedication and long-standing service as a volunteer for the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society.

Honorary Agent, John Wason, 80, was presented with the Lord Lewin Award at the charity’s Skill and Gallantry awards ceremony in London.

The award is presented to the charity’s volunteers who have demonstrated exceptional service.

Mr John Wason has been an Honorary Agent for the charity for 24 years, looking after a large collecting mine in Lyme Regis which generates donations in the region of £400 each year.

He also recently generously donated £200 to replace lost funds following a break-in to the mine.

Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society chief executive, Commodore Malcolm Williams, said: “John has provided an invaluable service to the society over a great many years.

“This award is testimony to his enthusiasm and commitment to the society, which we are proud to be able to recognise.

“Our charity relies on the selfless dedication of our volunteers and John’s outstanding efforts are deserving of wider public recognition.”

John started his working life at the age of 15 as a farmer on the Somerset Levels but was drawn to the sea and fishing so moved to Lyme Regis.

His three sons and two grandsons are following in his footsteps and are also full time fishermen.

The society states that by maintaining the mine, John advertises the society’s existence to donors and potential beneficiaries and the mines raise a steady and important stream of income.

The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society’s primary purpose is to provide financial support to seafarers in need.

Retirement and injury, leading to lost earnings, can prevent mariners and their families making ends meet.

In the last year the charity received 650 new applications for assistance and helped in more than 2,200 cases of need, amounting to an expenditure of £1.4 million.

Since 1851 the charity has highlighted the bravery of those who risk their lives to rescue others at sea through the presentation of its annual Skill and Gallantry Awards.

Over its 176 year history the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society has helped hundreds of thousands of mariners and their dependents, including during times of conflict.

To find out more information about the charity visit shipwreckedmariners.org.uk, facebook.com/shipwreckedmariners or follow @ShipwreckedSoc on Twitter.