Barmouth RNLI celebrate two new volunteer helms
Barmouth RNLI volunteers are celebrating the success of two volunteer crew members who have passed out as Helms on the station’s inshore lifeboat.
Alex Hill, 24 and Kyle Smith, 34 have recently both successfully completed their RNLI D Class helmsman training. Alex and Kyle have been a volunteer crew members at Barmouth RNLI for seven and eight years respectively.
The Helm on an inshore lifeboat is in command of the boat, organising the crew and making decisions in the heat of the moment. The helm training is intensive and has involved training in Barmouth, both shore side and home study and for Kyle a week at the RNLI college in Poole.
Alex, who works for HM Coastguard in Holyhead said: ‘this training has involved a lot of people giving up their time, all of them volunteers. It’s not just a demand for myself and Kyle, it’s been a big demand on the station. There has been lots of crew support through all roles in the station and we massively appreciate the team effort’.
Kyle, a self-employed builder said: ‘This wouldn't have happened without the support of the crew and tractor drivers going out with us on training for each assessment and then again on assessment days.
‘This has involved a lot of intensive training and a lot of time off work and away from family life. To launch the inshore lifeboat, you need a minimum of three crew and a driver; that’s four families disrupted whilst we are training or on service.
‘When people say 'you been out playing on the boat' what they don't understand is that every time we launch, its different. It’s crucial to go out and train, every drill that we are assessed on and in various conditions. Out there it’s just us against the elements. We need to be on top of our game prepared for all eventualities.’
Kyle continues: ‘Now that I have passed out as a helm I will continue to learn, teach the ropes to new crew, give educational tours to schools and save lives if required, through launching or passing on my skills.
‘The crew at Barmouth Lifeboat Station are a family and behind every volunteer there's a strong supporting network, I would like to thank all of them on behalf of my pass out.’
Coxswain Peter Davies said: ‘The demands placed on the time and commitment of this generation of volunteer crews to go through the trading up to the position of Helm really is quite a challenge. Kyle and Alex have worked really hard this year and fully deserve everything they’ve achieved. Congratulations both and a big thank you to all the crew that helped them through the process’.
Notes to editor
Attached are photos of Alex and Kyle, RNLI helms at Barmouth lifeboat station. Credit: RNLI
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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