£1M fund helps local volunteer learn lifesaving skills

Lifeboats News Release

Two new volunteer crew members at Portishead RNLI lifeboat station have had a vital part of their crew training funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation.


Emma Berger and Simon Lynn with other lifeboat volunteer crew members at the training.

Emma Berger and Simon Lynn both from Portishead and both 46yrs old have recently travelled to RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, to complete the charity’s Crew Emergency Procedures course.

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; 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, 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 Crew Emergency Procedures courses for a second 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, Emma and Simon, both volunteer as Crew Members, Emma said: ‘I had an amazing time at Poole and learnt some invaluable skills about sea survival and emergency procedures, in particular the capsize drill and letting off flares was an excellent experience’. Simon said: ‘The training was informative, challenging and great fun, provided by a very dedicated and professional group of instructors’.

Emma, who was inspired to join up as a volunteer crew member because of her interest in open water swimming and wanting to learn more about our stretch of water here in Portishead, has since put her training to use. Her first shout was the yacht who had run aground between the Severn crossings.

Simon, was also inspired to joined the RNLI as a crew volunteer to give something back to the local community, and be able to help those who are in difficulty on the sea whilst also filing a gap when I left the Royal Air Force.

RNLI LOM at Portishead, Dave Slack said: ‘The support given by Lloyd’s Register Foundation is hugely important to the RNLI. We are extremely grateful the Foundation has chosen to continue to fund sea survival training, which teaches essential core skills to our volunteer crew.

‘This training is vital to help keep volunteers as safe as possible while on rescues. It equips volunteers with sea survival skills and provides them with the courage, poise and self-confidence to save lives even in the most perilous seas.’

This donation is the latest in Lloyd’s Register 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.

Notes to Editors

*Lloyd’s Register Foundation donated £1M to the RNLI over 5 years from 2010–2015; and £400K over 2 years from 2008–2009, taking over the obligations of the Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust in 2013.

About Lloyd's Register Foundation

Lloyd’s Register Foundation is a charitable foundation which aims, through grant making, to connect science, safety and society by supporting research of the highest quality and promoting skills and education.


Photos: © RNLI Portishead

1 Simon Lynn at RNLI College

2 Emma Berger at RNLI College

3 Group photo of all volunteers with Emma and Simon at RNLI College

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Jade Dyer, Communications Student Placement, on 01752 854485 or by emailing Jade_Dyer@rnli.org.uk. You can also contact Amy Caldwell on 07920 818 807 or by emailing Amy_Caldwell@rnli.org.uk.


Portishead RNLI volunteer crew member Simon Lynn at Poole for the training course.


Portishead RNLI volunteer crew member Emma Berger at Poole for the training course.

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.

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