Calshot RNLI celebrates first female substantive crew on Atlantic 85 Lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

Kelley Leonard has made history as the first female at Calshot RNLI to become substantive crew on the Atlantic 85 B Class Lifeboat.

RNLI/Justyn Leonard

Kelley Leonard, the first female substantive crew on Calshot RNLI's Atlantic 85 B Class Lifeboat

Kelley, who joined the crew with no prior boating experience said; ‘I’m delighted to have successfully passed out on both our Atlantic and D Class lifeboats. As with all the crew here, I don’t do this for the recognition, however if my journey from a complete boating novice to where I am today can inspire other women, then I’m very happy.’

Jane Banting, Lifeboat Operations Manager added; ‘Kelley has worked hard to meet the RNLI’s rigorous training and assessment criteria and is one of an increasing number of female members of crew operating in a variety of roles here at Calshot.’

Kelley has another reason to celebrate, after volunteering throughout Covid lockdown as a Community First Responder, she decided to join South Central Ambulance Service and has just successfully completed her training as an Emergency Care Assistant, based out of nearby Hythe Ambulance Station.

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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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