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Ohoj Sverige! Scarborough RNLI crew member attending international exchange

Lifeboats News Release

Ahoy Sweden! Mark Jenkinson, all-weather lifeboat crew has been selected for the prestigious European Lifeboat Crew Exchange Programme 2023. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is hosted by the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF). This is the first exchange since 2019 due to COVID-19.

A left side portrait style image of Mark Jenkinson in his all-weather lifeboat crew PPE sat onboard the Fredrick William Paxton

Keith Fraser

Mark Jenkinsn

Mark is representing the RNLI for five days visiting Sjӧrӓddnings Sӓllskapet - the Swedish Sea Rescue Society (SSRS). In an intense itinerary over five days, Mark will be experiencing how the RNLI’s Swedish counterparts undertake their maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) operations. This will include visiting several SSRS stations and being onboard some of their rescue vessels. There will also be an opportunity to visit the SSRS Headquarters and Joint Rescue Coordination Centre.

The IMRF states that a ‘key feature of the programme is to build up productive networking relationships between fellow SAR crew members in Europe, as well as develop and build new skills’. The programme aims to improve maritime SAR.

Training modules Mark will take part in include first aid, navigation, towing, sea survival, man overboard recovery, crisis management, leadership and maritime English. This year’s confirmed hosts are Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK. There will be representatives from SAR organisations from around the world who are members of the IMRF.

There will be a Search and Rescue training exercise, where teamwork will be critical whilst cooperating with multiple SAR units. There will also be a Helicopter exercise. This will teach Mark and his selected international counterparts about the cooperation between the SSRS and the Swedish Maritime Administration’s SAR helicopters. He will also learn about their Standard Operating Procedures regarding SAR and helicopter hoisting. In addition, Mark will participate in a visit to Måseskär Lighthouse (weather permitting).

During the visit to the SSRS headquarters, Mark will encounter discussions about the different organisations the participants are representing, the SSRS’s operations and technical department, communications and charity department, as well as the sea safety, innovation and research and development department.

Mark Jenkinson commented: 'I have volunteered for various organisations for about 15 years and volunteering for Scarborough RNLI is an absolute honour for me. This opportunity to represent the RNLI in Sweden will be the pinnacle of my voluntary career. I’ve lived in Scarborough all my life and haven’t done much travelling, so to be given this opportunity to visit a country I’ve always wanted to go to is amazing.

'Joint working between organisations in best practice is the building blocks of the RNLI. I will look forward to passing on the skills the RNLI have taught me as well as learning new skills from our overseas colleagues. Thank you to our managers for giving me this opportunity.

Roger Buxton, Lifeboat Operations Manager, at Scarborough RNLI stated about Mark’s selection: 'We are very proud that Mark was picked to represent Scarborough RNLI on the exchange visit with Sweden. It will be a busy week learning all about the SAR techniques from another country. Whilst many of the procedures will be very similar, there no doubt will be some subtle differences in the way they carry out their rescue work. Mark can bring this knowledge back to share with the Scarborough crew. I'm sure Mark will be able to share the way we work, along with his experiences with them too.'

The European Lifeboat Crew Exchange 2023 takes place 24-29 September 2023.

Notes to editors

  • Scarborough RNLI has been operating since 1801 and is one of the oldest stations in the United Kingdom still in operation. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to:
  • The European Lifeboat Crew Exchange Programme enables participants to share ideas and experiences amongst their fellow maritime SAR organisations to improve capabilities and operational best practices cohesively and cost-effectively. Crew members can then bring back their gained professional knowledge and experience to their own SAR organisation.
  • This IMRF member-only programme launched in 2012 and takes place every year. More than 519 crew members from IMRF's member organisations have taken part since its launch. During COVID-19, the IMRF ran a series of online webinars to ensure the programme remained an important part of the maritime SAR calendar.
  • The International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) is the international non-governmental organisation (NGO) working to develop and improve maritime search and rescue (SAR) capacity around the world and is the only maritime SAR NGO with consultative status at the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO).
  • Swedish Sea Rescue Society is the Swedish charity that saves lives at sea and is involved in approximately 90 percent of all sea rescues in Sweden.

Photo Credits

Mark Jenkinson: Keith Fraiser.

Mark Jenkinson - Scarborough Armed Forces Day June 2019: Erik Woolcott .

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Laura Lyth, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer at 01723 360520 or [email protected] or Clare Hopps, Regional Media Officer at 07824 518641 or [email protected] or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

Mark Jenkinson onboard Scarborough RNLI's all-weather lifeboat whilst on duty for the Scarborough Armed Forces Day 2019.

RNLI/ Erik Woolcott

Mark Jenkins - Scarborough Armed Forces Day June 2019

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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