Million-pound training fund helps Hartlepool lifesavers learn vital skills
New crew members at Hartlepool RNLI lifeboat station have had a vital part of their crew training funded by Lloyd's Register Foundation.
Colm Simpson and Chandler Wilson recently travelled to the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, to complete the charity's Crew Emergency Procedures course.
Chandler who is a student at Hartlepool College of Further Education was inspired to join up as a volunteer crew member a year ago for the charity because she simply wanted to play her part in saving lives at sea.
IT engineer Colm Simpson is following in his dad Andy's footsteps who is already a crewmember at the Ferry Road 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 Chandler said 'The variety of subjects we covered during the course has definitely boosted my confidence. The training facilities at the college are amazing and the trainers were really good to work with'.
Fellow crewmember Colm Simpson said 'There were some awesome scenarios during the course which really gave me an insight as to what casualties might face but most importantly I learned a great deal and it really does give you confidence to deal with issues that may occur whilst at sea'.
Colm and Chandler's 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 £2.6M* since 2008. More than 3,000 RNLI 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 volunteers crews' training.
'Their support is very important to us and it's fantastic how, so far, over 3,000 of our crew members have benefited 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 raining 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 recognized in 2010 when it received the Group Supporters 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. www.lrfoundation.org.uk