TWO new volunteer crew members at Bridlington RNLI lifeboat station have had a vital part of their crew training funded by a charitable trust.
Kevin Read, 49, and Graham Taylor, 19, both from Bridlington, recently travelled to the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, to complete the charity’s Trainee Crew Course.
A key part of that course is the sea survival element, which enables new volunteer crew to be trained in a variety of crucial subjects including how to ‘abandon ship’ with a 4m jump into water; team survival swimming and coping in a liferaft in simulated darkness; how to deal with fires aboard lifeboats; how to right a capsized inshore lifeboat and the importance of lifejackets.
Training took place in the Sea Survival Centre at the RNLI College in Poole, which includes a wave tank and a fire-fighting simulator, allowing trainees to experience first-hand some of the scenarios they may encounter at sea as lifeboat crew.
The training was funded by The Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust, an independent charity that funds work to enhance the safety of life and property at sea, on land and in the air.
It is funding the Sea Survival element of the Trainee Crew Course for a five year period which began in January 2011 and ends in December 2015 - additional funding of nearly £1 million brings their total support to just over £1.5 million.
Graham Taylor, who volunteers as a crewman for both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats, said: “The course has helped me to hone my teamwork and communication skills. The training that I received in the Sea Survival Centre was multi-faceted and will no doubt prove invaluable when faced with real life rescues.
“I work as a fisherman and the skills that I learnt at the college will carry over into that role, providing me with extra peace of mind whilst at sea.”
Kevin Read, who is an HGV driver and who volunteers on the all-weather lifeboat and as a launcher (shore crew) said: “The crew training at the RNLI college was first-class and the Sea Survival Centre is an amazing facility.
“I decided to become an RNLI volunteer as I have always been fascinated by the sea and I also wanted to do something valuable and worthwhile.
“The training that I received at the college will help me fulfil this ambition, but more safely and more effectively.”
Steve Kinroy, Bridlington RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: “The support given by The Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust is hugely important to the RNLI.
“We are extremely grateful that it has chosen to fund sea survival training, which teaches vital core skills to our volunteer crew.
“This training is central to allowing the RNLI and its volunteers to stay safe while on rescue missions. It equips volunteers with essential sea survival skills; providing them with the courage, poise and self-confidence to save lives even in the most perilous seas.”