Real-time RNLI training session takes place in St Ives
Yesterday saw an important date in St Ives RNLI’s calendar as they took part in a meaningful training exercise. The exercise itself involved both St Ives lifeboats and a significant portion of the volunteer crew, along with RNLI lifeguards and Coastguard.
Rob Cocking, St Ives Coxswain, explained the significance: ‘These situational exercises are a crucial part of our crews training and development. As well as ensuring strong and accurate communication between the different resources, it helps to further improve effective rescue responses and action plan protocols – and this is critical development and practice so we can continue to provide our lifesaving service.’
The volunteers knew that this would be an action planned exercise, they knew it was happening – but didn’t know what the situation may be and what they would need to do until it all started. This is to create as real time a response as possible.
The practice scenario set for our volunteers from both lifeboat and lifeguards was complex and considerable. Initially two large outrigger canoes were on a training exercise off Carbis Bay beach, they are struck by a wave and both of the vessels capsize throwing the crew into the water. Falmouth Coastguard were called for help and both St Ives lifeboats were dispatched along with Hayle lifeguards.
When both the lifeboats arrived on scene, Falmouth Coastguard contacts St Ives lifeboat again as a second call for help had been received. There has been a report that two learner surfers have been washed out to sea at Porthmeor beach, they are waving for assistance and need help. A lifeboat is needed to respond along with lifeguards from Porthmeor Beach.
Rob Cocking explained: ‘Well as you can see from the scenario set, this wasn’t just one shout but two – the second coming in shortly after both lifeboats had arrived on scene at Carbis Bay beach. The reasoning behind this was too see how the lifeboats and lifeguards worked together to rescue and attend casualties and also to decide what vessels and volunteers went to which scene. It also tested how the volunteers and crews would manage a scene, how they prioritised and worked and communicated together.’
The whole training session was ongoing for some time, and really ensured that the volunteers and crews got the opportunity to really test themselves.
Rob continued: ‘We were really happy with the session, all in attendance did a sterling job and dealt with every part of the scenario efficiently and effectively. We all will reconvene and meet to go over every step to make sure we covered everything we should in the correct procedures – but I am delighted with how the entire session went.’
Training is a crucial part of being a volunteer for the RNLI, and is consistently ongoing through every part of your volunteer career. If you are interested in joining the RNLI please check out our website and click volunteer.
Notes to editors
A selection of photos are below
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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, 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.