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Larne RNLI celebrate newly qualified Coxswain on UK Volunteers week

Lifeboats News Release

Larne RNLI is made up of many volunteers from volunteer crew members answering the call when the pager sounds, to volunteer fundraisers who work tirelessly to raise vital funds for the charity.

Volunteer crew member Barry Kirkpatrick completing coxswain assessments with RNLI Trainer Assessor Alan Pryce

RNLI/Larne RNLI

Volunteer crew member Barry Kirkpatrick completing coxswain assessments with RNLI Trainer Assessor Alan Pryce
Larne RNLI has a close knit group of volunteers with a strong family ethos and team approach to ensure everyone plays their part to help saves lives at sea in the Larne area.

When the pagers go off the volunteer lifeboat crew drop everything and are regularly called away from their families, their beds and their work, 24hours a day, 365 days a year. Being part of the lifeboat crew is a major commitment which isn't only measured in the time spent involved in rescues but the essential weekly training scenarios.

Larne RNLI volunteers come from all walks of life from students to teachers, firefighters to pharmacists. Within the RNLI only one in ten lifeboat crew members now have professional maritime experience. That is the reason for the charity's comprehensive competency based crew training. The volunteers in Larne RNLI train six times per month to ensure they are fully trained on all aspects of rescues including keeping up to date with new and evolving equipment. Every crew member is assessed on individual competencies to ensure their skills reach the high levels set by the RNLI.

Recently one of the volunteers, Barry Kirkpatrick, a local teacher, completed his assessments to qualify as an RNLI All weather Lifeboat Coxswain.

Larne RNLI Volunteer Barry Kirkpatrick said, ‘Being an RNLI volunteer is a big commitment but working alongside like-minded people, to help those in distress at sea, is very rewarding. It’s very much a team approach at Larne RNLI with a fantastic camaraderie within the crew.’

Speaking about the local volunteers, Larne RNLI Coxswain Frank Healy commented, ‘ Our crews train extensively across a broad spectrum to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to be a member of the Lifeboat crew. This means giving time and dedication to meet the requirements. This was realised recently when Barry, after long intensive and wide ranging training was passed out successfully as an all weather lifeboat coxswain. A great achievement for Barry who is a very valuable asset to Larne station.’

In 2019 Larne RNLI is celebrating 25 years of local volunteers providing a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week rescue service to the Larne area. Over the last 25 years, Larne lifeboats have launched 514 times, saving 34 lives and rescuing 454 people. An average of 21 'shouts' per year.

To celebrate the work of volunteers and the support the local community have provided, Larne RNLI are
holding an Open Day at the Lifeboat station on Olderfleet Road on Saturday 22 June from 12pm-4pm. Everyone is welcome to come along, meet the volunteers and enjoy a fun filled day with BBQ, bouncy castles, our mascot Stormy Stan and lots more.
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RNLI media contacts

For information please contact Fiona Kirkpatrick Larne RNLI Volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer Tel: 077 3805 9405 email Fiona_Kirkpatrick@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager on 00 353 87 1254 124 email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 00 353 87 6483547 email Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk

Volunteer crew member Barry Kirkpatrick training on coxswain boat handling in Ballylumford Harbour

RNLI/Larne RNLI

Volunteer crew member Barry Kirkpatrick training on coxswain boat handling in Ballylumford Harbour

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 or by email.