Llandudno Lifeboat volunteers strive to maintain the highest standards possible
It has been a busy and significant time for the volunteer crew members of Llandudno RNLI.
Early Monday morning the volunteers gathered for two days of intensive training and assessments. This called for launches of both the all-weather and inshore lifeboats in very stormy and challenging conditions, which served to further test those involved both at sea and on the shore.
With RNLI external assessors in charge, ten crew members prepared for their final examination of a range of skills and competencies. Areas covered included command situations for Coxswains, Inshore Lifeboat Helms and Head Launchers along with launch vehicle driving including the sophisticated SLRS (Shannon Launch and Recovery System).
John Roberts one of the trainers at Llandudno explained: 'these assessment days are very demanding and rigorous in terms of not only setting high standards for those being assessed, but also for the other crew members taking part as they are expected to perform safely, efficiently and effectively as a team. There is no hiding place on a small boat or on the beach. The assessors don't miss anything! It's also very demanding in terms of the crew being volunteers and having to take time off work, study for and pass assessments around family and work life. The External Assessors visit lots of stations and not only assess, but act as quality controllers thus ensuring RNLI standards are compatible across the UK”.
A significant part of the assessments focused on the work of the shore crews who play a crucial part in the 24/7 operational requirements of the lifeboat station.
Alun Pari Huws, Llandudno RNLI Deputy Launch Authority, explains the importance of working as a team for a successful lifeboat launch: 'No launch of Llandudno's all-weather lifeboat is possible without the vital work of the highly trained shore crew, often working in cold, windy and dark conditions. Where all-weather lifeboats are launched from a carriage, such as at Llandudno, a team of between eight and twelve people is required to launch and recover the lifeboats safely'.
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.