Three Fowey RNLI volunteer crew qualify as lifeboat mechanics

Lifeboats News Release

Congratulations to three volunteer crew members from Fowey lifeboat station who passed out as qualified operational mechanics in July, trained for duty on the station’s Trent class all-weather lifeboat.

Fowey RNLI

Tom Cunningham

The three crew members are Tom Cunningham, who became a crew member in February 2022 and is inshore and all-weather crew. Warren Sallis, who is an all-weather lifeboat crew member and navigator who joined the crew in June 2018 and Jimmy Hoddinott who is 2nd Coxswain at the lifeboat station and who joined in September 1999. Jimmy has previously been a qualified mechanic and has now been re-validated.

Operational mechanics provide cover for the lifeboat and the all-weather lifeboat cannot launch without a duty mechanic onboard. As mechanics, they are trained to start and stop the boat, manage emergency procedures and deal with minor defects in the engine operating machinery. While at sea the mechanic is responsible for fire safety and fire emergency procedures, rectifying minor mechanical problems and ensuring that equipment is running safely.

Tom said: ‘Being involved in mechanics has always been a passion of mine, and when given the opportunity to train as a lifeboat mechanic, it was definitely something I wanted to do. Undergoing training for this is a lot more intense as you have to know exactly what you are doing in any given situation and especially in an emergency. Having passed out now as mechanic, I feel it's quite an achievement, my job is to make sure the boat is running perfectly, so the other crew can do their jobs.’

Fowey Lifeboat Operations Manager Chris Ogg said: ‘The mechanic is an important role on a lifeboat, as with any large ship, it can’t go to sea without a mechanic onboard. Tom, Warren and Jimmy have all worked hard and applied themselves well in training. Congratulations to all three on their achievement.’

Fowey RNLI

Warren Sallis

Fowey RNLI

Jimmy Hoddinott

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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