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Lyme Regis RNLI and coastguards meet new Search And Rescue team

Lifeboats News Release

The coastguard helicopter crew taking over SAR - Search And Rescue - duties from the team based at Portland dropped in to Lyme Regis yesterday (23 April) to meet RNLI volunteers and their coastguard colleagues.

Two members of the Lyme Regis RNLI lifeboat crew are winched aboard the coastguard helicopter.

RNLI/Richard Horobin

Two members of the Lyme Regis RNLI lifeboat crew are winched aboard the coastguard helicopter.

Coastguard helicopter 175, based at Lee-on-the-Solent and its crew of four, landed on Woodroffe School's playing field to give the lifeboat and coastguard volunteers a chance to familiarise themselves with the new aircraft and to exercise winching into and out of the eight seater Augusta 189.

The teams were shown all over the helicopter by the aircraft's captain Simon Cree, co-pilot Will Warboys, winch operator Ritchie Waterton and winchman Rob Sanches.

Capt. Cree, a former Sea King pilot with the RAF, said the £26m coastguard helicopter's endurance was three and a half hours at speeds of 130/135 knots .

He added:'The visit to Lyme Regis is all about hearts and minds and getting to know each other. We regard ourselves as an asset to the coastguards and the RNLI.'

John Broome, training co-ordinator at the Lyme Regis RNLI lifeboat station, said:"This training session was immensely useful. We have already exercised with the new aircraft and crew at sea, but to meet the crew and examine the aircraft at close quarters has been very useful,'

Members of the crew of the Lyme Regis RNLI lifeboat, local coastguards and the helicopter team.

RNLI/Richard Horobin

Lyme Regis RNLI lifeboat crew, local coastguards and the helicopter crew pictured during the exercise on the playing field at Woodroffe School.

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland