Gravesend RNLI volunteer takes part in the European Crew Exchange Program
An RNLI volunteer from Gravesend is joining colleagues from other parts of the UK and Ireland to take part in a week-long lifeboat crew exchange programme organised by the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF).
Wayne Sherwood, a volunteer at Gravesend RNLI, travelled to Oslo, Norway to be with the Norwegian equivalent of the RNLI called Redningsselskapet1 on Saturday 23 September 2017.
The programme takes volunteers from a variety of European maritime rescue services and gives them the opportunity to visit other countries to experience and learn from their Search and Rescue (SAR) practices. The programme has been running since 2012, has completed five successful exchanges to date and is funded by the IMRF.
Wayne said: ‘I was really happy and excited when I learned my application had been accepted. It is an honour to be representing the RNLI on the European Lifeboat Crew Exchange. It’s a wonderful once in a lifetime opportunity for me, to both learn from other crews and pass on search and rescue techniques from my RNLI training and from experiences on station at Gravesend.’
The outcomes of the programmes to date have included increased experience of lifeboat crew members along with improved professional knowledge, working in a transnational team, and continuous sharing of knowledge and increased mutual understanding of the challenges faced in maritime search and rescue.
The main goal of this exchange is to share knowledge and to learn from each other. Through the Exchange our volunteers will be exposed to different ideas, training methods, cultures and experiences. This will help challenge some thinking, help to develop areas of consistency between lifeboat services and ultimately improve the overall maritime SAR response of all the organisations involved.
Notes to editors
Gravesend is one of four lifeboat stations on the River Thames that are operated by the RNLI. Gravesend Lifeboat covers an area from Holehaven, at the western end of Canvey Island, to the Thames Flood Barrier at Woolwich, a distance of 26 miles. A patch which covers Kent, Essex, South & East London.Ends
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