RNLI Campbeltown crew celebrate International Women’s Day
With only two female volunteer crew members at RNLI Campbeltown, volunteers Ailsa Clark and Carla Jackson are looking to encourage more women who are interested in the sea, navigation and search and rescue to help save lives at sea.
Campbeltown RNLI’s two female volunteer crew members Ailsa Clark and Carla Jackson held an open afternoon ahead of International Women’s Day to raise awareness of volunteer opportunities for women locally. Currently there are only two female volunteer crew members out of a full crew of 28 at Campbeltown RNLI.
The open afternoon was held to encourage more interest from women as prospective crew members as there have always been considerably less applications from women interested in joining. The station has only ever had three female volunteers at one time within the lifeboat crew.
Ailsa and Carla took the time to have a cuppa and chat with local women who may be interested in joining the crew to answer any questions or concerns they may had, as well as have a general chit-chat.
Carla Jackson joined the crew in October 2017 after being invited by former coxswain, David Cox. After attending training every Thursday, she was able to gain more confidence and experience to learn new skills and join the crew as a trainee crew member.
Fast forward to January 2018, she had her first shout - which was the Nancy Glen Tragedy - in Tarbert, Loch Fyne. Since her first call-out, she has attended many other lifeboat shouts, all different to eachother.
‘The RNLI put me through all of my training and that training is invaluable. The trainers who visit you at the station, take you afloat and help you with learning news skills and building confidence help you with your own personal development. I actually think they have more confidence in you, than you do of yourself.
‘I would encourage any women who have a passion for learning new skills, being on and around the water or who would like to provide a lifesaving service to come forward and challenge yourself. I really wasn’t a massive fan of the water before joining, I have put all that to the back of my mind and focus on helping the people who require the assistance.’
Ailsa Clark was the first female to join the crew in Campbeltown in 2000. She wanted to join the RNLI as a volunteer after her experience helping on a fishing boat along with working on the water a lot at an outdoor centre.
Speaking about becoming a volunteer within the RNLI, Ailsa said ‘Like many professions, historically there was a false presumption that it wasn’t for women.
‘Fortunately those days are well gone and women are welcomed and valued as part of the team and seen as equals. It would be great to see more women coming forward to apply to volunteer as it’s very rewarding and you are always learning.’
Ailsa goes on to say ‘The lifeboat crew is a great team to be a part of and provides an important emergency service.’
Are you a woman and interested in the outdoors, the sea, navigation and search and rescue? Have you ever thought about becoming a volunteer with the RNLI? Would you like some more information?
Contact Carla Jackson at: [email protected] to find out more information.
RNLI media contacts
Carla Jackson, Lifeboat Press Officer at RNLI Campbeltown, 07821409553, [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
For more information on the RNLI please visit rnli.org. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre rnli.org/news-and-media.
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 over 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 142,200 lives.
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
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