Million-pound training fund helps local Portishead lifesaver learn vital skills
A volunteer trainee crew member at Portishead RNLI lifeboat station has had a vital part of their crew training funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation.
Lu Shephard, from Portishead, recently travelled to the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, to complete the charity’s Crew Emergency Procedures course. Lu was inspired to volunteer for the charity over four years ago when she joined the education team.
Lu, a professional musician and teacher, initially joined the RNLI because of her love of the water, as well as her drive to give something back to the local community. With her background in teaching the RNLI education team felt like a good way to start her journey.
After volunteering for the education team Lu requested to become part of the operational team as shore crew. After passing all of her competencies for shore crew Lu decided to apply to become boat crew and was successful.
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, Lu who volunteers as a trainee crew member, said:
‘It was completely incredible, I found the course to be a real eye opener as well as being a challenge both mentally and physically. The training has boosted my confidence and I have met some amazing colleagues from other stations.’
Lu’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.
- Image 1: Lu Shephard - ©RNLI Portishead
- Image 2: Lu on her course at RNLI College, Poole - ©RNLI Portishead
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. www.lrfoundation.org.uk
RNLI media contacts
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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.
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.