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Oban RNLI seeks new volunteer crew members

Lifeboats News Release

Oban’s RNLI lifeboat station is looking for local people to apply to join the volunteer crew of the town’s all weather lifeboat – one of the busiest in Scotland.

Oban RNLI Coxswain Ally Cerexhe stands looking over the stern of Oban’s Trent Class all weather lifeboat Mora Edith MacDonald.

RNLI/Stephen Lawson

The Trent Class lifeboat Mora Edith MacDonald has been called out more than 60 times this year to aid seafarers, support coastguard teams and work with the ambulance service to bring seriously ill people from the islands to the mainland for treatment.

Coxswain Ally Cerexhe is encouraging people aged between 17 and 65 who live or work within ten minutes of the lifeboat station to get in touch:

‘We work together as a close-knit team, ready day and night, every day of the year to help save lives at sea.

‘In this round of volunteer recruitment, we are particularly interested in hearing from people based in Oban who have good availability between Monday and Friday during working hours.’

Ally continues: ‘Successful applicants who have passed the medical and fitness tests begin their training at the lifeboat station here in Oban. This involves getting to know the lifeboat and the personal protective equipment they will have to wear and use at sea.

‘Initially people will go out on training exercises – often held on a Monday evening – before being issued with a pager and, depending on the call-out, will be asked to join more experienced crew members on shouts.’

Reaching so-called Competent Crew stage usually takes between 12 and 18 months depending on how often people can go out on exercise and how quickly they develop their sea-going skills.

Ally says, as well as being a good team player and communicator, potential crew members need to understand that the role can be demanding:

‘Sometimes the taskings we go out to don’t turn out the way we would want them to. As well as all the training, there’s a huge amount of support from the station and the wider RNLI to help everyone deal with any situation that we come across.

‘Our volunteer roles can also give a great sense of satisfaction. It’s amazing when we help people and have successful outcomes and get people home safe – then there’s a feeling of accomplishment. It's a good way to give something back to our local community.’

People interested in applying should go to www.rnli.org and click on ‘volunteering’.

Notes to editors

· Picture caption: Oban RNLI Coxswain Ally Cerexhe on board Oban’s Trent Class all weather lifeboat Mora Edith MacDonald.

· Oban lifeboat station has been operating since 1972, this year celebrated fifty years of saving lives at sea. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeboat-stations/oban-lifeboat-station

RNLI media contacts

John Macgill, Lifeboat Press Officer, 07711 548672, [email protected]

Stephen Lawson, Lifeboat Press Officer, 07776 340629, [email protected]

Natasha Bennett, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 07826 900639, [email protected]

Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 07920 365929, [email protected]

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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For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.