Walmer RNLI celebrates latest helm progression

Lifeboats News Release

Walmer volunteer Ed Benson completes his training programme and successfully passes out as helm on the station’s D Class lifeboat Duggie Rodbard II.

Walmer crew member Ed Benson and Area Lifesaving Manager Allen Head.

RNLI/Christopher Winslade

Walmer crew member Ed Benson and Area Lifesaving Manager Allen Head.

Ed began his RNLI volunteering role nine years ago and brings the total number of Walmer helms, who also operate an Atlantic 85 Donald McLauchlan, to eight.

Overcoming fifteen to twenty-knot winds, fading light and half-metre swells last Thursday evening,15 October, he put in what was described as ‘a strong performance’ and was passed out by Area Lifesaving Manager for the south-east Allen Head.

The pre-launch brief prepared both boat and shore crew for the exercise. During the assessment Ed was tasked with a scenario of a person in the water and included boat handling, anchoring and veering. He was also questioned about lights and sounds under the International Regulations for the Prevention Collisions at Sea (IRPCS) and what decisions would he make as a helm to ensure the safe launch of the lifeboat.

On completing the assessment, the boat was safely beached ashore.

Speaking after the assessment, Lifeboat Operations manager Denis Brophy said: ‘I am very pleased to see that his hard work and commitment to training, especially during the current difficulties has paid off. It’s been a long time since his pre pass-out assessment and tonight. He will be a great asset to the station.’

Ed paid tribute to his fellow volunteers by saying: ’ I’m delighted to be able take my role to the next level. I couldn’t have achieved this without the help, advice and guidance of divisional and station trainers and assessors and my fellow volunteers here at Walmer.’

Notes to editors

Walmer lifeboat station was established in1856.

It currently operates two inshore lifeboats – a B Class Atlantic 85 Donald McLauchlan and a smaller D Class Duggie Rodbard II.

Crews have received 28 Awards for Gallantry

Photographs are copyright RNLI Walmer

At sea during the assessment.

RNLI/Christopher Winslade

At sea during the assessment.

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