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Jason Stride of RNLI Torbay, passes muster to qualify as ‘coxswain’.

Lifeboats News Release

On Thursday afternoon, following an all-weather lifeboat response to a missing person, Jason Stride was passed out as a qualified coxswain.

RNLI/Niall Blatcher

Jason Stride, passes out as qualified coxswain

Jason Stride of RNLI Torbay, passes muster to qualify as ‘coxswain’.

On Thursday afternoon, following an all-weather lifeboat response to a missing person, Jason Stride was passed out as a qualified coxswain. This is an achievement that merits considerable congratulations. It is no mean feat.

The coxswain’s role, when he or she is on duty, is to take charge of our Severn class all-weather lifeboat and is in command when at sea. Whilst we have one overall ‘Coxswain’ who heads up the lifeboat station (in our case that is Mark Criddle), he is supported by both a ‘second coxswain’ (Richard Fowler) and now that Jason has qualified, four ‘Deputy coxswains’.

The coxswain on duty is responsible for all the operations connected with the lifeboat and ensures the safety of all the crew onboard. It is the coxswain’s duty to do all he or she can to safeguard and rescue those in danger in incidents that we respond to out at sea. A coxswain must also make sure all equipment is in order and that our all-weather lifeboat is ready for service at the end of a rescue.

The training for this role is extensive and assessment to qualify is very carefully adjudicated by a RNLI examiner who is an experienced senior coxswain - in this case a coxswain from RNLI Weymouth who was here for a supervised exercise (that then turned into a real shout for the missing person). Entry into training for coxswain can only be undertaken in the first place after many years of active service and even then, only with the approval and support of the station’s own head Coxswain.

Mark Criddle said: ‘We are very proud of Jason. His qualification as coxswain significantly strengthens the depth of our station’s capabilities. We are all really delighted for him and warmly welcome him into our small band of coxswain brothers’.

Jason Stride responded: ‘It was hard work. There was a lot to learn, and it was by no means a given. I have earned my living all my working life in Brixham, so it’s something I really wanted - it’s something that allows me to give back to the town, especially to the fishermen and to the wider fishing community. So yes, I am chuffed to bits I have done it!’

RNLI/Niall Blatcher

Two adjudicating Coxswains of RNLI Torbay and RNLI Wemouth

RNLI/Niall Blatcher

Two adjudicating Coxswains of RNLI Torbay and RNLI Wemouth

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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