RNLI Rye Harbour training, training, training

Lifeboats News Release

Behind the RNLI's long record of saving lives at sea is the ability of the volunteer crew-members to respond competently and professionally in emergency situations

Three lifeboat crew-members hold lit emergency flares at arm's length while and instructor looks on

RNLI/Brendan Towner

Letting off emergency flares on the quayside

The key to their success is the constant programme of training they undertake, and over the last two weeks approximately a quarter of the volunteers at Rye Harbour lifeboat station have made the trip to the national RNLI College at Poole in Dorset. Five crew went through the Capsize and Sea Survival courses in a purpose-built tank (the country's largest) which can simulate storm wind and waves whilst a lifeboat is deliberately capsized. Sea Survival, a course which must be successfully completed by anyone working at sea, focuses on using life-rafts and a range of techniques to stay alive in the water in an emergency.

Brendan Towner reflected enthusiastically on his experience of the training: 'It gave me a lot of confidence in dealing with a situation like a capsize which is completely unfamiliar, but as well as that it was a team-building exercise – both with our own and other crew-members. It is really important that each of us can rely on everyone else in the boat.’

Tim Brown was equally positive: ‘It was great to spend time at the College’s fantastic training facility. Seeing the impressive Shannon lifeboat being built was something else!’

The lifeboat station's two volunteer Press Officers underwent an intense two-and-a-half day course preparing them for dealing with all aspects of news, including press releases and social media, culminating in a mock 'live' interview for television news in the scenario of a twelve-year-old boy having been apparently swept out to sea in a gale.

The RNLI's training courses are vital to ensure that all volunteers are capable of dealing with the emergency situations that they face but they are also highly effective in building team dynamics, and, as all the volunteers reported, they are personally affirming and enjoyable.

RNLI Media contacts

· Martin Bruce, Rye Harbour RNLI volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer (07789) 818878 martinthebruce@gmail.com·

· Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East), 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk

· For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

RNLI online: For more information on the RNLI please visit http://www.rnli.org/. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre.

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 237 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 180 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.

The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland.

A volunteer cre-member jumps into the water of the training tank from a high platform as part of the Sea Survival course

RNLI/Brendan Towner

A volunteer crew-member takes the plunge as part of the Sea Survival course
Five Press Officers on the course stand in front of an all-weather lifeboat

RNLI/Claire Elshaw

Rye Harbour Press Officers KT and Martin Bruce (front middle and right) with their colleagues on the 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.

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