A Tealby man is to be one of the first recipients of the newly instigated Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service.
The announcement of this new state award was made by Shipping Minister John Hayes on Friday, to coincide with Merchant Navy Day on September 3.
And among the list of the first 13 recipients is Andrew Dalrymple, who will receive the medal for services to the welfare of seafarers.
“It was quite a surprise,” said Mr Dalrymple.
“I am greatly honoured, and slightly embarrassed.”
Mr Dalrymple is chairman of the charity Humber Seafarers Service which provides facilities to help seafarers visiting the Humber ports, whatever their nationality.
The service is supported by the three major seafaring charities - Mission to Seafarers, Apostleship of the Sea and Sailors’ Society - and in turn the Humber Service provides a base for the chaplains at their centres in Hull and Immingham.
Mr Dalrymple has had a big involvement and close relationship with the sea all his working life.
He first went to sea as a cadet with BP, serving for 10 years and rising to the position of Chief Officer.
He then came ashore and studied for a degree in Marine Commerce, which led to work in the fishing industry.
He became operations director for the largest fishing company in Europe, British United Trawlers Board.
Then, with the loss of the fishing grounds, he moved into ship tugs and salvage.
With a fleet of tugs in seven of the major ports in the UK, Mr Dalrymple stayed in the business for about 20 years, rising to the position of chief executive.
“I still have a number of interests in the industry,” said Mr Dalrymple.
“I am honorary chairman of the European Tugowners Association, which involves representing them in Brussels.
“I am also chairman of the management committee of the RNLI station at Cleethorpes.”
Mr Dalrymple says, though, none of the charitable work he has been involved in has been done for any reward.
“Over the years, I have benefitted a lot from the Mission to Seafarers charity, so I want to give something back to them and to the very valuable RNLI.”
Closer to home, Mr Dalrymple is an active member of the Rotary Club of Market Rasen, having served as its president and, until recently, seven years as secretary.
Making the announcement of the worthy recipients Minister Hayes said: “Merchant Navy seafarers and those serving in the fishing fleets provide a tremendous service to our island nation and it is only right that they are recognised for the vital role they play, often in difficult and dangerous conditions.
“Coinciding with Merchant Navy Day, it provides an opportunity to remember the sacrifices of our brave seafarers of the past and to show our appreciation for British shipping today and in the future.”
Mr Dalrymple will receive his medal at a formal presentation ceremony on November 15 at Trinity House in London.