Troon RNLI crewmember attends Crew Emergency Procedures Course
Lifeboat crews are prepared to drop everything and risk their lives to save others at a moment's notice.
This lifesaving work is essential, often difficult and sometimes dangerous. And with only 1 in 10 volunteers joining the RNLI from a professional maritime occupation, training is especially important.
Much of our crew training is carried at the lifeboat station on a Monday evening. Training lasts for approximately 2 hours during which time both the all-weather and inshore lifeboats usually head to sea.
Further on station training is also provided around the coast by mobile training units (MTUs) but perhaps the most crucial facility is the RNLI College in Poole with its integrated Sea Survival Centre, where real-life conditions and rescue operations are simulated to give lifeboat volunteers essential practical experience in sea safety and survival techniques.
The sea survival pool is where the crews practise their capsize training using bespoke training boats. Complete darkness, choppy conditions, thunder, lightning and helicopter recovery can all be simulated to very real effect.
Recently one of our crew members Gregor Baird attended his Crew Emergency Procedures Course at the RNLI College. During this practical course he covered a wide range of skills including firefighting, the use pyrotechnics (flares), personal survival techniques as well as capsize and recovery drills for the D class inshore lifeboat.
Gregor, a volunteer crew member on the inshore and all-weather lifeboats at Troon said: 'This training course allows the RNLI volunteers to experience first-hand some of the scenarios they may encounter at sea should they ever need to 'abandon' their lifeboat. It was a great experience working with other RNLI crew members from around the country to complete a very challenging but thoroughly enjoyable 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, 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.