Walmer RNLI volunteers drive to success

Lifeboats News Release

Tractor driving reassessments have been successfully completed by RNLI Walmer shore crew.

RNLI/Chris Winslade

No matter how well trained a lifeboat crew is, unless there is a committed and well-trained shore crew to work with them and back them up, the search and rescue units can’t launch to help those in danger at sea. The role of lifeboat shore crew is therefore vital and should never be underestimated. They ensure the seagoing volunteers can launch and be recovered quickly and safely. Like boat crew, these volunteers follow a structured training and development programme. They are also ready 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to respond to pager alerts. At each launch they are designated a role, be it acting as Head Launcher, driving and manoeuvring a recovery vehicle within the confines of the boathouse and on the beach, or monitoring an exclusion zone around a moving vehicle.

Thursday 5 August, therefore, saw a visit from Gary Stanbury, RNLI Plant and Machinery Assessor Trainer who carried out Bob Cat tractor driving reassessments with volunteers Andrew Howland, Phil Curry, Daniel Martin, Chris Brophy, Martin Perks, Andrew Coe and Andy Fisher. This involved manoeuvring the station’s D Class lifeboat Duggie Rodbard II in its trailer in and out of the shed and negotiating obstacles up, down and around the shingle beach. Their next reassessment will be in five years. Phil was also later passed out as another Head Launcher for the station. Congratulations are due to all.

Notes to editors

Walmer lifeboat station was established in 1856.

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

Photo 1 Bob Cat driver with D Class lifeboat Duggie Rodbard II negotiating obstacles on the beach.

Photo 2 Talus tractor towing Atlantic 85 Donald McLauchlan being guided back to the boathouse during the Head Launcher assessment.

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RNLI/Chris Winslade

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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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