Million-pound training fund helps local lifesaver learn vital skills
A recently recruited volunteer crew member at Kinghorn RNLI lifeboat station has had a vital part of their crew training funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation.
Kirstie Wakefield, 24, from Kinghorn, recently travelled to the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, to complete the charity’s Crew Emergency Procedures course. Kirstie, a probationer teacher, was inspired to join up as a volunteer crew member for the charity following a recruitment event held by the station.
The course sees volunteer crew being trained in a variety of crucial subjects such as how to deal with fires aboard lifeboats, how to ‘abandon ship’ in the event of an emergency (with a 4m jump into water), team survival swimming, coping in a life-raft in simulated darkness, how to right a capsized inshore lifeboat, and the importance of lifejackets. It also includes sessions on the correct use of flares, fire extinguishers and throw bags.
Talking about the training, Kirstie, who volunteers as a crewmember, said: ‘The course was absolutely brilliant and I learned so many skills that I am now confident to put into practice if I ever needed to. The quality of instruction from the trainers was outstanding, as was the content of the course. We covered a variety of emergency procedures and scenarios, and it was extremely valuable spending time with crew members from other stations.’
Kirstie’s training took place in the Sea Survival Centre at the RNLI College, where she was joined by other RNLI volunteer crew members from around the UK and Ireland.
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 has 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 brings their total support for RNLI crew training to just over £2.46M* since 2008. More than 3,000 RNLI volunteer crew members have now received the training thanks to Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s funding.
James Kilburn, Lifesaving Delivery Training Manager at the RNLI said, ‘We are so grateful to Lloyd’s Register Foundation for funding this vital part of our volunteer crews’ training.
‘Their support is very important to us and it’s fantastic how, so far, over 3,000 of our crew members have benefitted from Lloyd’s Register Foundation funding this part of their training. As only one in ten of our volunteer crew members comes from a professional maritime background, the Crew Emergency Procedures course is crucial in giving our volunteers the training they need and helping keep them as safe as possible while carrying out rescues. It gives volunteers the confidence to save lives even in the most challenging 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 funded £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.
- Photograph of Kirstie Wakefield
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.
RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Neil Chalmers, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07767 380274 or
Gemma McDonald, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07826 900639,
Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 01738 642986, 07920 365929,
RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789.
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 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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