Lifesaving organisations join forces for Minister’s virtual visit to Yorkshire

Lifeboats News Release

HM Coastguard and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) have been showcasing the work of their organisations as part of a virtual visit organised by the department for Transport.

Department for Transport

The virtual visit

Maritime Minister Kelly Tolhurst, joined a virtual visit to talk to employees and volunteers from both the RNLI and HM Coastguard about their operational working relationship and joint working arrangements. This included a recent joint beach safety campaign as well as how COVID-19 has impacted on operations.

The Minister also hosted question and answer sessions and took a ‘virtual’ tour of Scarborough Lifeboat Station, including the station’s £2.2m Shannon all-weather lifeboat.

The virtual visit forms part of a series of events to highlight key challenges during Maritime Safety Week (6 - 10 July). Led by the department for Transport, Maritime Safety Week has been developed to highlight the wealth of expertise the UK has in maritime safety and illustrate the day-to-day work that takes place throughout the UK to keep our seas, coastal areas and inland waterways safe.

Apart from her current role in the Department for Transport Kelly Tolhurst MP has close links to the maritime industry, having worked as a marine surveyor and had her own consultancy company, based on the banks of the River Medway. She is now a Trustee of the Chatham Maritime Trust.

Maritime Minister Kelly Tolhurst said: ‘We are world leaders in maritime safety and this visit demonstrated the immeasurable value our heroes of the sea provide for skippers, sailors and visitors to the coast. I cannot speak highly enough of the coastguards and lifeguards in Yorkshire and across the UK who risk their lives to save lives of others.’

Ryan Douglas for HM Coastguard said: ‘It was great for coastguards from our Scarborough and Filey teams to have the opportunity to meet up with the Minister. She asked some insightful questions about some of the work that we have been doing here locally, particularly on tombstoning and we told her about the incidents that we, and the RNLI were called out on last weekend.

Lee Marton, Coxswain at RNLI Scarborough, said: ‘We have a very close working relationship with HM Coastguard, both as an organisation and locally here in Scarborough. That’s been important with the upturn in incidents since the easing of lockdown.

‘We’re really proud of our lifeboats and our amazing station, so it was great to be able to give the Minister a tour, even if only virtually. And her expert knowledge meant we had to be on our toes during the question and answer session!’

RNLI Picture caption

Please credit: Department for Transport.

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Department for Transport

The virtual visit

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 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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