Congratulations to new Appledore RNLI Mechanic – Matthew Rowe.

Lifeboats News Release

Appledore RNLI congratulate volunteer crew member Matthew Rowe, who was passed out as a fully qualified RNLI mechanic for the Tamar all-weather lifeboat this week.


Matt Rowe passes out as mechanic on Tamar Lifeboats
This pass out was made even more difficult having taken place during the extreme heat we have been experiencing.

Matt, an Environmental Health Officer at Torridge District Council, joined Appledore RNLI in 2016. At first, like all crew members, he spent time as shore crew, moving to boat crew the following year. Since then he has become a fully-fledged crew member on both the inshore and all-weather lifeboat. With a natural mechanical instinct, Matt has always had an interest in cars and engines, and it was therefore natural that he became interested in the mechanics of the lifeboat and progressed down this route. Whilst at sea, it is the mechanic’s job to keep the boat operating safely, monitoring all of the different systems. The mechanic is also responsible for all radio communications.

It takes years of dedicated hard work and training to become a mechanic and as a volunteer, of course this is all done in Matt’s own time. Some is carried out at the RNLI College in Poole, but much is carried out in Appledore on our own boat Mollie Hunt.

When asked about his pass out he explains; ‘When we got on the boat the assessor had effectively “booby trapped” it. I was tasked with getting her ready for sea, working through various faults to the hydraulic, electrical and fire suppression systems to name but a few. Once this task had been completed we went to sea and I was put through a number of emergency scenarios, such the loss of an engine and its associated systems, flooding of the bilges and a fire in the engine room. These all had to be dealt with in accordance with RNLI operational procedures, keeping the boat and crew safe at all times. The assessment was challenging, and I really want to thank my fellow crew mates for the support and help they have shown me over the last couple of years as I worked towards becoming an all-weather lifeboat mechanic.

Appledore RNLI coxswain says: ‘Matt 100% deserves this pass out and recognition, he has trained long and hard for this but thanks must also go to all the crew who have worked with him, trained and supported him all the way through this training’.

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.