Alissia Matthews and Isobel Sharpe, two crew volunteers from Rye Harbour lifeboat station, have been selected to take part in the Tall Ships Youth Trust Voyage 2016.
The girls, both aged 18, are two of the youngest RNLI lifeboat crew volunteers in the UK.
They will be sailing on the sail training vessel Stavros S Niarchos from Brixham on Sunday 4 September, spending 6 days on board honing their nautical skills and learning some new ones.
The Tall Ships Youth Trust voyages have proved to be a unique and valuable experience for RNLI lifeboat crew who have been fortunate enough to receive a place. Alissia and Isobel have never sailed on a Tall Ship before and they are determined to outshine the men on this exciting adventure.
As lifeboat crew volunteers they are used to hands on situations and enjoy a challenge. After all this is the stuff that lifeboat crew volunteers are made of!
The voyage will cross the channel and explore the Channel Islands before heading home to Portsmouth. Alissia said: ‘We intend to make the most of this opportunity to learn new skills, enjoy the voyage and promote the RNLI’s 2016 Respect the Water campaign. Respect the Water is the RNLI’s national drowning prevention campaign, and a major part of its work is to halve the number of accidental coastal deaths by 2024.’
The Stavros S Niarchos is a 200ft Brig (a ship with two square-rigged masts) designed to sail anywhere in the world. Stavros carries a traditional eighteenth century style rig on a modern hull, making her both great fun to sail and more comfortable below decks than in days gone by.
Richard Tollett, lifeboat operations manager at Rye Harbour said ‘I am really pleased that two of our most recent recruits are going to benefit from this experience. It will give them a wider appreciation of different seagoing vessels and the safety aspects of being afloat. They are enthusiastic members of our crew and I am sure their exploits will encourage more young people to volunteer as lifeboat crew.’
Rye Harbour lifeboat is currently recruiting crew and shore based volunteers. Why not come along to our open day on 23 July and find out more?
Notes to editors
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Key facts about the RNLI
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.
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