Donate now

Skegness RNLI celebrates success as three volunteers pass out as Helms

Lifeboats News Release

Skegness RNLI Lifeboat Station is thrilled to announce the successful pass-outs of three dedicated volunteer crew members who have achieved the prestigious role of Helms of the D class inshore lifeboat.

RNLI/Brad Johnson

Ryan Speed, Curtis Redford and Billy Brookes on Skegness Beach

Ryan Speed, Billy Brookes, and Curtis Redford have completed their rigorous training and assessments to take command of this highly manoeuvrable inshore lifeboat, providing Skegness with three more qualified Helms to provide cover along the East Lincolnshire coastline.

Becoming a helm of an inshore lifeboat is no small feat and involves extensive training, specialised command-focussed exercises, and a final assessment by an external RNLI Assessor. This demanding journey typically spans around two years, during which the candidates hone their skills to operate the D class inshore lifeboat, a vital asset that performs rescues in surf, shallow waters, and confined locations, close to the shore.

Ryan Speed, Billy Brookes, and Curtis Redford have all made remarkable progress since joining the crew in 2019, 2019, and 2020, respectively. They started as Shore Crew members and then advanced to become crew members for the Shannon class lifeboat before most recently reaching the coveted position of Helm on the D class inshore lifeboat.

Ryan and Billy are further advancing as Trainee Navigators on the Shannon class all-weather lifeboat, while Curtis is in the process of becoming a recognised RNLI Paramedic, lending his expertise from his role as a Paramedic with the East Midlands Ambulance Service.

Expressing their gratitude for the training they received, Ryan, Billy, and Curtis collectively said: 'We want to extend our thanks to the station and our fellow Helms for the support and guidance throughout our training journey.

'We are proud to reach this milestone and eagerly anticipate putting our training into practice on exercises and service launches. The RNLI Assessor Trainers who guided us played a crucial role in our development, and we are immensely grateful to Craig, Lee, Joe, Ady, Gary and Anna for their time and expertise. Volunteering for this incredible charity is an honour, and we are thrilled that our hard work has paid off.'

Paul Simpson, the Lifeboat Operations Manager at Skegness RNLI, added, 'Becoming a Helm and commanding one of our lifeboats is no easy task. A successful pass-out is a testament to the many months of hard work and determination that has taken place. Ryan, Billy, and Curtis have demonstrated an amazing commitment to the RNLI's mission of saving lives at sea, and we are proud to have them as part of our dedicated team.'

Skegness RNLI Lifeboat Station extends its warmest congratulations to Ryan Speed, Billy Brookes, and Curtis Redford on their remarkable achievement and commends their dedication to providing life-saving services in and around Skegness.

The station would also like to thank RNLI Assessor Ady Barker for his time throughout the duration of the trio's training and final assessments.

Their newly appointed roles as Helms of the D class inshore lifeboat will undoubtedly enhance the station's ability to respond to emergencies and safeguard the local community and visitors alike.

Notes to editors

The RNLI is the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Skegness RNLI is based on Tower Esplanade, Skegness. The lifeboat station was founded in 1825 and the volunteer crew use an all-weather Shannon class lifeboat Joel and April Grunnill and D class lifeboat The Holland Family.

Skegness has had an inshore lifeboat since 1964, after they were introduced to the RNLI.

The Helms or an RNLI Skegness spokesperson are available for interviews or follow ups.

RNLI media contacts
For further information, please contact:
Brad Johnson, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Skegness at: [email protected]
RNLI Press Office: 01202 336789 or [email protected]

RNLI/Brad Johnson

Billy Brookes, newly-qualified inshore lifeboat Helm

RNLI/Brad Johnson

Curtis Redford, newly-qualified inshore lifeboat Helm

RNLI/Brad Johnson

Ryan Speed, newly-qualified inshore lifeboat Helm


Ryan Speed and Billy Brookes at Poole's RNLI College


D class lifeboat during training with RNLI lifeguards

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.