Walmer RNLI volunteer completes helm training.

Lifeboats News Release

Walmer volunteer Dave Mitchell completes his training program and passes out as helm on the station’s Atlantic 85 Donald McLauchlan.

Dave Mitchell with Area Lifesaving Manager Allen Head

RNLI/Christopher Winslade

Dave Mitchell with Area Lifesaving Manager Allen Head

During the assessment, Dave was tasked with a number of challenging situations by Area Lifesaving Manager for the south-east Allen Head, involving different scenarios. The pre-launch brief prepared both boat and shore crew for the exercise. It began with a launch in failing light to the report of an overdue fishing vessel near the south west Goodwin Buoy. The ‘vessel’ was located anchored with no crew aboard, so a search plan had to be drawn up and initiated. He was then faced with having to engage emergency steering and at the same time deal with a man overboard situation using a throwbag. Under Dave’s direction and with crew steering from the stern the boat looped around to recover the ‘casualty.’ The final task was to assist the station’s D Class lifeboat which, for the sake of the exercise, required a tow to a safe mooring after reporting loss of power and a drift towards Deal Pier. They were assessed as having engine failure. A stern tow was rigged bringing them clear of danger. The boat was then brought alongside and towed to their ‘mooring.’

Speaking after the assessment, Lifeboat Operations Manager Denis Brophy praised Dave’s commitment and dedication to the station since he first joined the crew in 2006. ‘Dave is already a helm on our D Class lifeboat Duggie Rodbard II, so we now have seven helms on station capable of taking either of our D Class and Atlantic lifeboats to sea.’

Dave commented ‘I'm delighted to be able to take my volunteering with the RNLI to the next level as an Atlantic 85 helm. We have a great team at Walmer Lifeboat station, and it's not without the help of all concerned, both current and former volunteers, and guidance from RNLI divisional trainers and assessors that allows events like this to happen. None of this would be possible of course if it wasn't for the generous donations made by the public.’

RNLI media contacts

  • Chris Winslade, Lifeboat Press Officer, Walmer Lifeboat Station 01304 374475, 07906 623037 [email protected]

· Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East) on 0207 620 7426, 07785 296252, [email protected]

· For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

RNLI online: For more information on the RNLI please visit http://www.rnli.org/. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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