£1M fund helps local volunteer learn lifesaving skills
A volunteer crew member at Longhope RNLI lifeboat station has had a vital part of their crew training funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation.
A key part of the course is the sea survival element, which enables new volunteer crew to be trained in a variety of crucial subjects including how to ‘abandon ship’ with a 4m jump into water; team survival swimming and coping in a liferaft in simulated darkness. They also learn how to deal with fires aboard lifeboats; how to right a capsized inshore lifeboat and the importance of lifejackets.
Training took place in the Sea Survival Centre at the charity’s college, which includes a 25m wave-generating survival tank, allowing trainees to experience first-hand some of the scenarios they may encounter at sea should they ever need to abandon their lifeboat.
The training was funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LR Foundation), a UK registered charity that connects science, safety and society by supporting quality research and promoting skills and education. The Foundation is funding the Sea Survival element of RNLI’s Trainee Crew Courses for a further 5 year period from January 2016 to December 2020. This additional funding of £1.06M will bring their total support for RNLI crew training to just over £2.46M*.
Talking about the training, Jack said: 'Every element of this course was fantastic, I learnt a great deal and now feel much more confident in the lifeboat. The instructors were first class and the training was very well structured. I would like to thank all those involved at Poole and the LR Foundation for funding this essential part of our training.'
It is no surprise that Jack is a crew member as he is the fourth generation of the Kirkpatrick family to be part of Longhope lifeboat. His great grandfather, grandfather and his father Kevin, who is the current Coxswain, have all have inspired Jack to follow suit.
John Budge, Longhope Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘The support given by LR Foundation is hugely important to the RNLI. We are extremely grateful that the Foundation has chosen to continue to fund sea survival training By acquiring these skills our volunteer crew will be safer, have more courage, control and self-confidence to save lives even in the most perilous seas.’
This donation is just the latest in LR Foundation’s relationship with the RNLI, which was recognised in 2010 when it received the Group Supporter Award from HRH Prince Michael of Kent in recognition of its valuable support of the charity.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.