Launch and recovery vehicle driving success for two Walmer RNLI volunteers

Lifeboats News Release

Tractor driving assessments successfully completed by RNLI Walmer shore crew.

RNLI/Christopher Winslade

The role of shore crew in the launch and recovery of a lifeboat is vital. No matter how well trained and competent a sea-going crew might be, unless there is a committed and equally well-trained shore-side crew to back them up our search and rescue units would be unable to launch to help those in danger at sea. They ensure that boat crews can launch and be recovered quickly and safely.

Today, 25 April saw a visit to Walmer by Matt Parr, RNLI Assessor Trainer and mechanic at Ilfracombe lifeboat station to oversee the passing out of two volunteer launch and recovery (L&R) vehicle drivers. Having followed a structured training and development programme, Matt Curry and Caleb Ward both successfully passed out as drivers for the station’s Talus and Bobcat L&R vehicles.

The assessments included moving the vehicles in and out of the boathouses, safely launching and recovering Walmer’s Atlantic 85 Donald McLauchlan and D Class Duggie Rodbard II, manoeuvring around the shingle beach and abandonment procedures. Winching, uncoupling and recoupling carriages, and emergency stop procedures were also tested.

Matt and Caleb now join the station’s nine existing L&R drivers.


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 Walmer volunteers Caleb Ward (left), Matt Curry (right) with Trainer Assessor Matt Parr (centre).

Photo 2 Walmer's Talus on the beach.

RNLI media contacts

  • Chris Winslade, Lifeboat Press Officer, Walmer Lifeboat Station on 01304 374475 or 07906 623037 [email protected]
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

RNLI/Christopher Winslade

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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