Training with a difference for Largs RNLI.
The volunteer crew at Largs RNLI recently joined members of the Firth of Clyde Coastal Rowing Club for a training session.
Largs lifeboat Operations Manager John Griffiths organised a training exercise on Tuesday 26 April with Elizabeth Pratt from the Firth of Clyde Coastal Rowing Club (FOCCRC), looking at emergency procedures for the rowers and towing procedures which would be followed if required.
The weather was perfect for the planned training with smooth seas and a light breeze. Both the R.A Wilson lifeboat and FOCCRC’s skiff Thistle launched just before 7pm and spent just over an hour afloat.
It had been identified the rowers were unsure on the best way to react should someone fall overboard. The lifeboat crew worked with the rowers to establish safe routines to follow in the event of this happening, with the rowers gaining valuable skills and confidence in how to handle this emergency situation safely.
The towing of a skiff is something the volunteer crew at Largs RNLI have never encountered so this training session provided an excellent opportunity to practice the techniques, proving to be a useful exercise for both lifeboat crew and rowers alike.
After safe recovery of both boats, the lifeboat crew were able to provide some key safety advice including the use of personal locator beacons, who to call in an emergency and the importance of regular lifejacket maintenance. The crew were also happy to show the rowers the equipment and operational capabilities of the Atlantic 85 lifeboat.
After a joint debrief with the volunteer crew and rowers, the lifeboat was cleaned and made ready for service.
John Griffiths, Largs RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: ‘This was an excellent opportunity for our volunteer crew to train with a different type of vessel. The FOCCRC’s skiff gave the crew experience in working with this type of vessel should the need occur in the future.
‘Training allows our crews to be prepared for future taskings, whatever they may be. We are happy we were able to provide practical safety advice to the rowers and enjoyed training alongside them.
‘In a coastal emergency always dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.’
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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