Million-pound training fund helps Silloth RNLI lifesavers learn vital skills

Lifeboats News Release

Seven volunteer crew members at Silloth RNLI lifeboat station have had a vital part of their crew training funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation, this year.

Stewart Henderson, Andrew Rowe, Robert Prowse, Debbie Connor, Daniel Robertshaw, Andrew Scott and Tanya Provence, all from Silloth, travelled to the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, to complete the charity’s Crew Emergency Procedures course. Their inspiration for joining up as volunteer crew members for the charity has a wide variety of reasons, ranging from: following in their father’s footsteps; watching a multi agency search unfold with a happy ending; a lifetime ambition to join and now it is possible as they live in Silloth; but perhaps the most interesting one is from Andy Rowe, who is a Chief Engineer Officer with Marine Scotland (part of the Scottish Government) and he is also a Life Governor of the RNLI. Andy’s daughter Beth applied to join Silloth RNLI lifeboat’s collaboration with the local secondary school to became part of Silloth Lifeboat Youth, a group of eight young people who attended the station for eight weekly sessions to learn what was involved in being part of the RNLI. As part of the course there was a recognised first aid qualification. The last session included an invite for their parents/guardians to join them and see what they had been involved with. Both Andy and his wife were able to attend and Andy’s wife subsequently suggested that he should join the crew. Andy had long wanted to do more than just be a Governor and felt that because of his role in the Navy, he could use his skills and experience in order to help others.

The lifeboat crew course at Poole 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, all of the crew were extremely positive about their time at Poole. Tanya said that “it was an enlightening experience that will enhance my RNLI career” and Andy Scott said that “it was an enjoyable experience, one I will never forget”; Rob commented “brilliant, the staff and course were excellent. It was informative and helpful. The whole experience was very good”.

The crews 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.

Alex Evans, Lifesaving 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.

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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 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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