Million-euro training fund helps local lifesaver learn vital skills

Lifeboats News Release

A new recruited volunteer crew member at Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat station has had a vital part of their crew training funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

RNLI/Gerardine Wisdom

Chris Parker

Chris Parker recently travelled to the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, to complete the charity’s Crew Emergency Procedures course. Chris was inspired to join up as a volunteer crew member for the charity after moving near to Lough Derg and was keen to give something back to the community he had joined as well as learn new skills and make new friends. As an avid sailor and with an interest in other water sports he was drawn to the local lifeboat station.

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, Chris, who volunteers as a lifeboat crew member, said: ‘The RNLI College is an amazing resource for the volunteer crews and helms across the UK and Ireland. This was professional training at its best, but fun as well and most importantly I have returned with the vital skills required to save lives in extreme conditions.’

Chris’s training took place in the Sea Survival Centre at the RNLI College, where he 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 €1,208,400 brings their total support for RNLI crew training to just over €2,804,400* 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.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the team, or would like any further information about joining our volunteer crew at Lough Derg RNLI, please contact us on 087 6004366. No previous water experience is necessary, full training is provided at the station with the opportunity to train at the Lifeboat college in Poole.

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.

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Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.