Two Fowey RNLI volunteers pass out as qualified crew
Two Fowey RNLI volunteers have completed their training and passed out as qualified lifeboat crew. Luke Watts is now qualified as crew for the all-weather and inshore lifeboats and Liam Barron becomes a qualified all-weather lifeboat crew member.
Luke commented: ‘My training has taken 16 months. I love the training as everyone has got so much time to give you, so they know that you know you are doing the right thing at the right time when needed. The best thing about being in the crew is being part of a team of people you can trust with your lives when you out on a shout. I always wanted to volunteer for the crew but never stepped up and speaking to a lot of the ex crew and how much they have enjoyed it I knew it was time. Now I have, I wish I had done it ten years ago. The funniest moment for me so far, and for a lot of onlookers on the harbour wall, was when returning from exercise I was reaching for the mooring line when my lifejacket got hooked on the guardrail and inflated. Luckily the tourists on the wall believed me when I said it was part of the exercise! My day job is manager of the local butchers and delicatessen. When the pager goes off and I’m happy to leave the shop I will be running through the town and to the station. When the pager sounds you get a large dose of adrenaline and you know that someone needs our help so it makes you want to get to the station quick. I’ve loved every minute of being on the crew so far and met some great new friends which comes in handy, as when you need some electrics sorting out or a hand fixing your engine you know that the someone on there team will be here to help.
Liam said: ‘My training took around 2 years, it took slightly longer as it was delayed due to COVID. The thing I enjoy about training is the atmosphere between the crew, they’re like a second family. Training also allows me to develop my skills and knowledge which I can use in my day job at the harbour office in Fowey, where I work as a marine operative. My favorite moment was when myself, Oli Luck and Ross Jezard went up to the RNLI College in Poole for our ‘crew emergency procedures’ sea survival course. We all had such a good time and made plenty of good memories. One of the reasons why I joined the RNLI is because I have grown up around the water and always been on boats since a young age. I’m also the 4th generation in my family to be crew so it’s nice to keep it in the family.
Fowey Lifeboat Operations Manager, Chris Ogg said: ‘I am delighted for Luke and Liam. They have both worked very hard and shown dedication and enthusiasm throughout their training process. They are an asset to our team and everyone at the station congratulates them on their successful passing out.
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.