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First female Navigator qualifies at RNLI Buckie Lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

Buckie Lifeboat gained a ‘new sense of direction’ this week when crew-member Louise Cooper became the first woman in the station’s 162-year history to qualify as a navigator on the town’s lifeboat.

Way to go! Louise Cooper at her navigator’s station on board the RNLI’s Buckie Lifeboat

RNLI/Terry McNeill

Way to go! Louise Cooper at her navigator’s station on board the RNLI’s Buckie Lifeboat

Louise joined Buckie Lifeboat as a volunteer trainee in 2019. She had no previous sea-going experience but the RNLI’s training system – and the support of her instructors and colleagues – has enabled Louise to make rapid progress.

The ultimate credit, however, must go to Louise herself for sheer commitment and for endless hours of study and practice.

Before starting her navigator training, Louise had already achieved competence in deck-work, manning, operating daughter craft and salvage pumps, and had qualified in casualty care. For her navigator qualification, Louise learned and demonstrated high standards of skill using charts, radar, AIS, GPS, bouyage, passage planning, search patterns and knowledge of local waters. She completed the work in six months.

Louise Cooper said : “The RNLI’s training system is extraordinary – before joining the crew I had no experience with boats. But over the 4 years, I’ve been gaining knowledge, competence and confidence. I’m so proud to be the first woman to qualify as a navigator at the station, but I owe a lot to expert teachers and patient crewmates.”

Davie Grant, coxswain of Buckie Lifeboat says: “Louise deserves huge credit and respect for the hard work she has put into achieving her navigator’s qualification. In her time on the station, Louise has become a respected, trusted and popular member of the crew.”

Further information from

Terry McNeill, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, RNLI Buckie Lifeboat Station, Tel 07941 329798 [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]

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

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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