Busiest year ever for RNLI Walmer volunteers
2018 turned out to be an eventful year for Walmer lifeboat volunteers.
With forty-two recorded service launches where we were credited with assisting thirty-five people, 2018 was busy with both the Atlantic 85 Donald McLauchlan and D Class Duggie Rodbard fully operationally involved. From the first of the call on 21 January to the final shout on 28 December, volunteers have carried out a range of operations, sometimes in conjunction with Dover lifeboat and the Coastguard helicopter, including responding to distress calls, carrying out sometimes long and tiring searches and assisting broken down vessels, often in difficult weather conditions.
As well as responding to service calls the crew have also regularly attended twice weekly training exercises which included one hundred and sixteen exercises afloat where training assessments and crew ‘pass outs’ were undertaken. ‘Dry side’ exercises have included casualty care, chart and navigation work and a major incident simulation.
The year also saw visits from the RNLI Chief Executive Paul Boissier, comedian and actor Vic Reeves and Jack Lowe as part of his Lifeboat Project as well as a highly successful Car Show and Charity Car Wash.
Lifeboat Operations Manager Denis Brophy commented, ‘I have been involved here now for more than fifty years and this is the largest number of operations I can ever remember. It’s testament to the dedication of all our volunteers, and those of other stations around the country, to the numbers who willingly respond to their pagers whenever they go off.’
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.