Fishguard's lifeboat coxswain, Paul Butler, has hung up his lifejacket after 15 years at the helm of the town's life-saving vessel.

Paul's career with the Fishguard RNLI station started in September 1993, when he joined as a volunteer crew member on the Arun class all-weather lifeboat Marie Winstone.

He became part of the inshore lifeboat volunteer crew in 1996 and became full-time Coxswain in 2002.

During his 15 years at the helm Paul estimates the boat has attended more than 400 emergency call outs. He says he has been fortunate to work with a talented and dedicated crew and is disappointed not to be handing over to one of them as coxswain.

"I've been lucky to have a really good, tight knit crew over the 15 years," he said. "I owe them a big thank you."

"I am a bit disappointed not to be handing over to one of our senior crew members. It would have given things a nice sense of progress."

Fishguard lifeboat station is currently under a staff coxswain while the RNLI recruits a new skipper.

Paul, 55, is planning to start his retirement with a long-distance walk and also plans to spend more time on his hobbies of cycling, swimming and music; he is a keen supporter of Fishguard's folk music scene and is currently learning to play the Tuba with Goodwick Brass Band. He would then like to go back to sea and work on a small boat.

He said on his last day:

"It's been a day of mixed emotions, there's relief at not being on call anymore but regret at leaving a good crew and station,"

David 'Doc' Davies, the chairman of the Fishguard RNLI Lifeboat Management Group, said: 'I first met Paul when he joined the crew in 1993. As coxswain, Paul showed himself to be a very competent seaman, conscientious and a good trainer.

'Over the years, he has retained a core of experienced crew whilst introducing and encouraging new blood as needed. This has ensured the station has continued to provide an efficient lifesaving service, all at a time when the pace of change within the RNLI has been greater than ever before.'