Newhaven RNLI are recruiting new volunteer crew members following approval of a two-year trial to operate a D-class inshore lifeboat (ILB), which will serve alongside Newhaven’s existing Severn class all-weather lifeboat (ALB).
The two-year trial will allow the RNLI to assess and evaluate the suitability for a permanent ILB at Newhaven. The ALB will continue to be stationed at Newhaven, the deepest safe water port of refuge between Dover and Portsmouth.
Newhaven Lifeboat volunteer crew members Andy Bull and John Simcock talk about what this means for Newhaven RNLI and why volunteering is not just a way of life for them, but a privilege to serve their community and be part of a team where trust means everything.
Andy Bull, Volunteer Crew/Mechanic, says: ‘Operating a second, smaller lifeboat is excellent news for our station. Maintaining both lifeboats in Newhaven will help us respond more efficiently to the specific nature of each shout.’
John Simcock, Volunteer Crew/Navigator and trainee Coxswain, says: ‘Ultimately we aim to provide the most effective service for our community that we are able and to save more lives at sea.’
John continues: ‘The additional ILB will service tasking calls received that could be more efficiently attended by a smaller lifeboat.’
Andy Bull, says: ‘It’s not unusual for us to be called to an area where the water is more shallow, such as responding to people who have been cut off by the tide, whilst out enjoying our beautiful coastline.’
RNLI volunteers receive world class training both on-going at their station, as well as with the RNLI College in Poole.
John Simcock says: ‘Of the many personal benefits that I have found since joining the crew, one of the most obvious is the training provided to us, which has been life-changing for me in broadening my skill set.’
The addition of an ILB to Newhaven will offer greater training opportunities for new and existing volunteer crew. However, an ability to respond to the pager and get swiftly to the lifeboat station, remains paramount.
Andy Bull says: ‘Within 8 minutes is the amount of time we ask crew to be able to get to the station for launch when the pagers go off.’
Andy continues: ‘This significantly reduces our catchment area for new crew, however, people may not be aware that lifeboat crew do not need to have any seafaring experience whatsoever in order to volunteer. Necessary training will be provided.’
John Simcock says: ‘We have a nice range of ages on our crew and welcome volunteers of 18 years and older. Up to 55 for the ILB and 65 for the ALB.’
John continues: ‘Crewing for the lifeboat is undeniably a commitment, however, it is a life full of surprises and new experiences that we take on as a team together. It is hugely rewarding and I am very proud to be a part of this essential lifesaving work.’
Andy Bull, says: ‘We’re really happy to have the opportunity of this trial. None of our search and rescue work would be possible without the commitment and hard work of our fundraising and retail volunteers at the station. We have a really great team in Newhaven and look forward to welcoming more crew.’
Notes for the editor
• Newhaven RNLI’s majestic Severn class, the David and Elizabeth Acland, launches to a great variety of search and rescue service calls: into the Channel and along the coast between the station’s boundaries of Belle Tout Lighthouse in the east, to Saltdean in the west. Her volunteer crew will often launch it’s smaller, on board, daughter Y-class boat into the water for the final stages of a rescue.
• When Newhaven’s new modern afloat station was built in 2004, it was designed with the option to accommodate an inshore lifeboat. Only minor modifications are required to introduce the D-class ILB to the station.
• This trial will be complemented by enhanced water safety education and drowning prevention work at Newhaven RNLI. The RNLI’s combined focus on prevention and rescue activity will allow people to enjoy the coastline in greater safety around this part of the Sussex coast.
RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Roz Ashton, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07900 887423 or [email protected]
or Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer on 07785 296252 [email protected]
or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.
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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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