£1M training fund helps local lifesaver learn vital skills

Lifeboats News Release

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

RNLI/Martin Macnamara

RNLI Anstruther crew members outside the RNLI college in Poole

Shelley Watson, 26, and Bob Stewart, 38, recently travelled to the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, to complete the charity’s Crew Emergency Procedures course. Shelley, who is the third generation of her family to volunteer at Anstruther RNLI lifeboat station, was inspired to join up as a volunteer crew member in October 2016 after her friend's pager sounded during a walk near the lifeboat station and she watched the crew assemble and the all weather lifeboat launch. Bob, who has been volunteering at Anstruther RNLI lifeboat station since December 2014, joined the crew to learn new skills and has done just that, already completing casualty care training. When not busy at Anstruther RNLI lifeboat station, Bob works for his family's fish merchants business in Pittenweem.

The course sees volunteer crew being trained in a variety of crucial subjects such as how to ‘abandon ship’ with a 4m jump into water, team survival swimming, coping in a liferaft in simulated darkness, how to right a capsized inshore lifeboat, and the importance of lifejackets. It also covers emergency fire theory such as how to deal with fires aboard lifeboats, and practical sessions on the correct use of flares, fire extinguishers and throw bags.

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 charitable foundation that helps to protect life and property by supporting engineering-related education, public engagement and the application of research. The Foundation is committed to funding the RNLI’s Crew Emergency Procedures course for a second 5-year period until 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, Shelley and Bob agreed it was hugely valuable and that the instructors were great. Shelley found that: ‘getting into a liferaft is not as easy as it looks’. Bob enjoyed meeting volunteers from other stations who were at the same stage of training and said: 'the training has given me more confidence in the gear that I am working with and rely on'.

David Knaggs, Lifesaving Delivery Training Manager at the RNLI said, ‘We are so grateful to Lloyd’s Register Foundation for choosing to fund this vital part of our volunteer crews’ training.

'Their support is hugely important to us, and it’s fantastic how many of our crew have so far been able to benefit from Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s support of their training. This training is crucial in helping keep our volunteers as safe as possible whilst carrying out rescues. It gives volunteers the confidence to save lives even in the most difficult conditions.’

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.
  • Lloyd’s Register Foundation have supported the training of over 3000 volunteer crew members for the RNLI

About Lloyd's Register Foundation

Lloyd’s Register Foundation is a charitable foundation which helps to protect life and property by supporting engineering-related education, public engagement and the application of research. www.lrfoundation.org.uk

For more information please telephone: Anstruther volunteer deputy press officer Becci Jewell on 07825813211, becci_jewell@hotmail.com OR RNLI Anstruther volunteer lifeboat press officer Martin Macnamara on 07969 773075, martinmacnamara@btinternet.com

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, in a normal year, 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.