RNLI Port Talbot and RNLI Mumbles take part in search exercise
RNLI Port Talbot's D class Craig Morris and RNLI Mumbles' Tamar Roy Barker IV took part in a joint search exercise on Thursday 16 February.
The exercise tasking from HM Coastguard was to a 41-year-old casualty who had fallen overboard from a fishing vessel, wearing orange overalls, and a lifejacket believed to have entered the water at 6.35pm.
In darkness both lifeboats with their volunteer crew, were requested to be in a position just off the Cabenda South Cardinal buoy for 7.30pm, around 4 nautical miles from the two flanking lifeboat stations.
Port Talbot Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) Clive Morris said: 'The purpose of the exercise was for crews from both stations to assist the Coastguard in fine tuning search and rescue techniques.
'This was all undertaken in complete darkness and showed how lifeboat crews from different stations can work together when the Coastguard coordinate searches.
'Working and training with flank lifeboat stations is essential. We are all one crew working together to undertake training in readiness for any eventuality when saving lives at sea.'
RNLI Mumbles, Deputy 2nd Coxswain James Rice said: ‘It’s important for us to test our search and rescue capabilities in all conditions. A huge thanks to the crew at Port Talbot. Plenty of skills are developed in combining efforts with a flank station’.
A spokesperson for HM Coastguard said: 'The main purpose of this particular exercise was for us to construct a search and rescue plan, deliver live search instructions to assets and for assets to input and follow the search instructions accordingly.
'Each lifeboat performed different designated search patterns ensuring that, despite zero visibility, constant drizzle, choppy sea conditions and total darkness volunteer crews were able to methodically search, providing the best possible chance of detection for the casualty.'
By constantly honing their skills over many hours of training, in all weather conditions, RNLI volunteers are fully trained and ready to save lives at sea, 24/7.
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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