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Four new volunteers help save lives with Gravesend RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

After a successful recruitment process, four new volunteers have passed out and have now joined the Gravesend lifeboat crew to help save lives on the River Thames.

RNLI Thames Commander Liam Sidders said, ‘We have a very thorough crew induction course that’s designed to train new crew with the knowledge and skills required in order to attend training sessions and service calls and I’m really pleased to say all four passed with flying colours’.

‘This involves undergoing intense training and assessments in Personal Protective Equipment, Search & Rescue Unit Layout, Roles & Responsibilities, medical tests & fitness tests, plus a assessment that proves they’re able to self-board the boat after entering the water’.

Gravesend RNLI’s new boat crew volunteers will now take part in the 12-hour shift pattern that’s in place, ready 24/7 to help and assist on the River Thames.

The new recruits consist of Ashley Bard - Radio Producer, Mel Walker – HS2 Railway, Katy Tointon – Paramedic and Gus Gunn – Police Constable.

New boat crew member and volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Ashley said, ‘I’ve always been in awe of the charity’s work, helping others, to now officially be a crew member is a dream come true’.

Liam Sidders added, ‘All our volunteer crew are normal people with normal jobs, it’s exceptional that we have a team that are willing to make time to help others, without these volunteers we wouldn’t be able to do what the RNLI are known for, helping to save lives’.

RNLI Media Contacts

For further information, please contact:

Ashley Bard, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Gravesend RNLI on 07557 157 587 or email [email protected]

Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (London and South East), on 07785 296 252 or email [email protected]

Julie Rainey, Regional Media Manager (South East), on 07827 358 256 or email [email protected]


New crew members Ashley (Far Left) Katy (Middle) Gus (Back right) Mel (Far right)

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

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.