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Million-pound training fund helps Portpatrick lifesavers learn vital skills

Lifeboats News Release

Recently recruited volunteer crew members at Portpatrick RNLI lifeboat station had a vital part of their crew training funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

Volunteer Josh Henry from Portpatrick Lifeboat station immediately after sea survival training.

RNLI/Pete Robinson

Josh Henry just after Sea Survival training

Josh Henry (18) and Pete Robinson (48) from Portpatrick, recently travelled to the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, to complete the charity’s Crew Emergency Procedures course. Josh, who works in a restaurant was inspired to join up as a volunteer crew member for the charity having grown up in Portpatrick and always having and interest in the RNLI through knowing many of the volunteer crew members, Pete, a professional photographer joined the crew in April 2018 after learning they were short of crew through the day and could help them provide the cover needed.

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, Pete, who volunteers as crew, said: ‘The RNLI provides the best possible environment to learn vital skills needed to help survive a ship abandonment. Starting with a leap of faith from a 4 m high platform you drop into a 4m deep pool, which can produces 2-3m wave swells which is then further enhanced with nighttime storm scenario equipment providing heavy rain, thunder and lighting with the occasional low level helicopter fly by. You could easily believe you are out on the sea in a force 10 gale. The RNLI trainers are of the highest standard and encourage the volunteers to believe in theirselves and work as a team to achieve the goals of each challenging task before them.’

Whats really amazing is all this technology and equipment is funded entirely by charity.

Josh & Pete’s training took place in the Sea Survival Centre at the RNLI College, where they were 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.

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. HYPERLINK "http://www.lrfoundation.org.uk" www.lrfoundation.org.uk

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Pete Robinson on 07827424308 or email primaging@icloud.com

All Volunteers on the RNLI Sea Survival course at the RNLI Collage in Poole, Dorset.

RNLI/Pete Robinson

Volunteers on sea survival course 1st to 2nd July

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.

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