A new coxswain qualifies for Peel RNLI
Peel RNLI crew member Mike Faragher qualifies as coxswain after two years of intense training.
In response to news of his success, Mike said: ‘I am delighted, and relieved, to have come through the training and to have been judged competent by the RNLI assessor. Although this is my seventh year with Peel RNLI, specific training for the role of coxswain has been a two-year adventure. I am grateful for the support my fellow crew members have given me throughout.’
The coxswain is the commander of the rescue vessel and is responsible for the safety of his crew, the vessel and the casualty. Mike explained that training involved learning how to manage the crew and assess risk in any incident, as well as refining his helming and navigation skills. Specific training at RNLI College in Poole included sea survival techniques honed by jumping into a deep tank in conditions that simulated rough seas at night.
He is grateful that he can help others in danger at sea and loves the sense of achievement after a successful call out with his fellow crew members.
Lifeboat Operations Manager for Peel RNLI, Allen Corlett, congratulated Mike for achieving what the RNLI assessor described as the highest score of anyone on the Mersey-class vessel.
With this success, Mike joins Jon Corlett, Frankie Horne, and Juan Owens as Peel RNLI’s volunteer coxswains.
Mike also serves as Peel’s Lifeboat Training Coordinator. A big challenge over the next few months will be ensuring his fellow volunteers have appropriate training to operate the station’s new Shannon lifeboat. ‘The Shannon is faster and more manoeuvrable and more high-tech than our Mersey class lifeboat Ruby Clery. It is important that we have the right skills when it arrives next year.’
Mike’s journey to the position of coxswain was founded in a family tragedy. His father Harold Faragher drowned while fishing with his friend Stewart Curphey to the north of the Isle of Man in 2013. RNLI lifeboats from Peel, Ramsey and Port St Mary joined forces with Liverpool Coastguard and rescue helicopters from RAF Valley and RNAS Prestwick to search for the missing men.
Mike had been deeply moved by the dedicated effort of all those involved. A modest and quietly spoken man, he felt ‘the best way of thanking those who went out to search for Harold and Stewart was through actions instead of words.’ He joined the shore crew at Peel Lifeboat station a few months later.
Supporting the RNLI is a family affair. Mike’s wife, Michelle, is chair of the Peel branch’s Fundraising Committee. She works with an enthusiastic team of volunteers to plan and hold activities such as car washes, coffee mornings, and the Lifeboat station’s annual Thanksgiving Service.
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.