A PEMBROKE man, involved in the rescue of more than 3,000 migrants in a humanitarian crisis, had a very special Valentine’s Day, collecting an MBE from Buckingham Palace.

Commander Richard Craig Davies was proud to receive an MBE for Services to Border Security from HRH Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace on February 14.

Commander Davies, of Her Majesty’s Cutter Commander Border Force was informed he was to be awarded the MBE for Services to Border Security in last year’s Queens Birthday Honours list.

Speaking after gaining the MBE, Richard said: “I am delighted and extremely proud to receive this honour in recognition of my contribution to UK Border Security and EU Frontex Humanitarian Search and Rescue overseas.

“I regard it as an award for all those who work in the Maritime Cutter Squadron, and wider Border Force, doing a difficult job under arduous conditions on a daily basis.

“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have them as colleagues and friends.

“I would also like to mark my appreciation of my family for their support and understanding during my regular absences from home.”

Richard, originally from Carmarthen, has called Pembroke home for the last 25 years, having joined the-then customs force in Pembrokeshire in 1988.

“I very quickly went on to patrol boasts,” said Richard, who, surprisingly, has no sea-faring background, adding: “Most of my success have come from the time I’ve been a skipper; the majority of my time is spent at sea.”

Richard, commander of a 42-metre patrol vessel for Border Force, has been involved in many major multi-tonne class A drugs and class B drugs seizure on yachts in the UK, and also in saving people in a major humanitarian crisis.

Richard joined in Border Force operations in the Aegean to assist with vital search and rescue operations which saved many thousands of lives of refugees fleeing war-torn Syria.

Speaking last year, Richard said: “About two years ago the Border Force were tasked to help out on the external border between Turkey and Greece; my boat was one that went to the island of Lesbos. We rescued about 3,000 migrants in the Aegean, most of them were women and children, the men had been killed.”

More recently Richard has been involved in rescuing over 100 migrants in the English Channel.