An exciting evening for the St Ives Lifeboat crew last night. We are pleased to share that after extensive training, assessments and many hours of hard work, our volunteer crew members Derek Barrett and Simon Allott passed out in their volunteer roles.
Simon Allott passed out as a tractor driver for our Shannon launch and recovery system (the big tractor!). The whole rig weighs in at 37 tonnes, this impressive piece of kit can carry an 18-tonne Shannon over all kinds of beach terrain, from steep shelving shingle to wet, sticky sand. It can drive straight into big surf and safely launch the lifeboat in up to 2.4m of water. Not only that, in the event of breakdown with an incoming tide, the watertight tractor can be completely submerged in depths of up to 9m before being retrieved once the tide has receded. The role of the tractor driver is crucial, and they take charge of the launch vehicle under direction of our head launcher to ensure the lifeboat can launch day and night, regardless of conditions. Critical to our rescue service. So we are incredibly excited to congratulate Simon Allott on his successful pass out last night.
Derek Barrett passed out as head launcher, a crucial shore based role for the lifeboat station. The Head Launcher is responsible for directing the lifeboats to the safest and most appropriate launch location, and for ensuring the recovery equipment is equally well placed. They take charge of operations connected with the launch and recovery of the lifeboat and they oversee a team of shore crew, which include shore based volunteers all working to get the lifeboat out and recovered when they return, they also ensure that the beach is safe to launch and recover the vessels - this includes crowd and beach user management around our rigs, boats and volunteers. The head launcher again is crucial to ensure that the lifeboats launch quickly and safely whenever the call for help comes.
Rob Cocking, Coxswain said " We are delighted to be able to congratulate both Simon and Derek on their passouts, it's a great achievement for themselves, the station and the continued provision of our lifesaving service"
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 over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, 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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