Crew training updates

Ever wondered how ordinary people become extraordinary crew? See behind the scenes as real trainee crew members post about their training.

Our crews brave ferocious winds, freezing temperatures and 2am wake up calls to save lives at sea.

But it might surprise you to know that only 1 in 10 of our volunteers come from a maritime background. The rest are people like you – they’re solicitors, bakers, mechanics and hairdressers.

How do these ordinary people become extraordinary crew members? It’s all down to training. That’s what gives them the confidence they need to save lives.

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Eoin (centre) and his crew carry Fred the training mannequin up the slipway during a training exercise.
Eoin’s big training secret
We’ve been training as hard as ever over the summer to keep on our toes. As in a real rescue, the crew don’t always know what they’re going to be faced with.
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Alex (on right) with Crew Member Fin Goggin and lifeboat to left of picture.
Trainee Alex gets onboard
Getting my crew pager makes the training seem much more real. I’ve been handed a great responsibility.
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Ilfracombe’s inshore and all-weather lifeboats during training with rocks in distance
The first time my pager went off: Sam
I was on my way to pick up my son from nursery the first time my pager went off. It took me by surprise - I had to take it out of my pocket and look at the screen for a moment for it to sink in.
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Eoin Bird standing in front of Fethard Lifeboat Station
Experienced crew Eoin Bird – training for any emergency at sea
We just trained for a major incident off the Waterford coast. It was great for the crew to experience a search and rescue on this scale.
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All-weather lifeboat during a training exercise
Station Coxswain Pete Davies – still training after 20 years
Our new lifeboat trainees are all getting stuck in, on the inshore and all-weather lifeboats and helping the shore crew.
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Trainee crew members standing poolside in full kit on training exercise
Capsize drill: Alex
‘There are things you can learn from a book and there are things you have to experience to make them real. Like knowing what to do when your lifeboat capsizes. Here’s a poolside view of one incredible day at RNLI College learning how to survive at sea.’
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The GPS onboard Howth’s D class lifeboat
Trainee crew Alex: Finding my way
They say practice makes perfect. Last Monday I got to grips with our electronic navigation system onboard our inshore lifeboat.
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Sam looking out to sea with all-weather lifeboat in distance
Sam’s journey continues: my crew training
Hello again! Did I tell you that before I can become a fully signed up member of the crew I have to show that I’m competent?
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The George Godfrey Benbow D-659, a D Class inshore lifeboat which operates from Howth RNLI Station.
A typical training session
There’s nothing like going out on a Monday night in the pitch black for people to see your true personality.
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Ilfracombe Shannon class lifeboat the Barry and Peggy High Foundation 13-09 being recovered by her launch and recovery tractor after an evening exercise.
My training journey: I’m officially part of the shore crew
So here I am, at the beginning of my journey with the RNLI.
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Sam Burbidge from Ilfracombe stations vlog
My training highlights: Sam
‘Just talk into the camera,’ they said. ‘Act naturally.’ If I’m honest, this is scarier than anything I’ve done so far. But I’m here because I want to tell you about my training highlights and my hopes for the future. 
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