Double celebrations at RNLI Kessock with two new Helms for the charity lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

A volunteer crew member, Douglas Munro, from Kessock Lifeboat Station successfully completed the rigorous RNLI Helm assessment this week (Tuesday 10 March) following hard on the heels of his crew mate, Tom Booth, who passed out a few weeks earlier.

RNLI/Yvette Kershaw

Tom Booth and Dougie Munro initial crew pass out Sept 2018

Dougie started his RNLI voluntary service at flank station Loch Ness in 2013 and completed his training at Kessock in September 2018, where he passed out with crew member Tom. Both crew members then continued their journey towards their successful Helm qualification, bringing the total number of Kessock helms to five.

The pair are now qualified and able to take command of the station’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat the Robert and Isobel Mowat,

Gary Friedman, Deputy Launch Authority at the station says, “I am very pleased to see that after all their hard work and commitment to training, involving many long cold nights afloat on the Moray Firth, both Tom and Dougie have achieved the status of RNLI Helm for our Atlantic Inshore Lifeboat. They will both be a great asset to the existing Helms and will further enhance our ability to respond to the call to save lives at sea.”

The two new Helms will now be responsible for taking command of the lifeboat when at sea. The RNLI describes the duty of a helmsman, ‘to use utmost endeavours to safeguard and rescue the lives of those in danger, whilst having regard for the safety of their crew’. Area Lifesaving Manager, Stuart Gudegeon congratulated the pair and commented that they are now in a position to help train the next generation of crew following the current recruitment campaign which ends on 23 March.

Brand new Helm Dougie says, “It feels amazing to pass out and take the next step in my lifeboat volunteer career. I’m really looking forward to taking the helm on training and shouts alike.”

Tom Booth has already put his Helm qualification to good use, leading the crew on an exercise earlier this week. He said, “ It's been a busy winter, with lots of training and getting ready for assessments. It felt great to put all the training into practice on my first shout as helm. The support from the crew and everyone at the station has been superb and I'm looking forward to leading with the same professionalism shown by the existing Helms."

The public are invited to visit and to follow RNLI Kessock on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to keep up to date with current recruitment and fundraising activities.

RNLI media contacts

Yvette Kershaw, Lifeboat Press Officer, 07809 116153, [email protected]

Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 01738 642986, 07920 365929, [email protected]

Gemma McDonald, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07826 900639, [email protected]

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

RNLI/Yvette Kershaw

Douglas Munro Helm pass out 10 March 2020

RNLI/Yvette Kershaw

Tom Booth Helm pass out 5 Feb 2020

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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