£1 million support helps fund Fishguard lifesaver
A new volunteer crew member at Fishguard RNLI lifeboat station has had a vital part of their crew training funded by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF).
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 LRF, 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 from January 2011 to December 2015. This additional funding of nearly £1 million brings their total support to just over £1.5 million.
Talking about the training, volunteer crew member Robert Davies said: ‘The five day course was amazing, hard work but really useful and I’m sure it has helped prepare me for what I might experience on a ‘shout’. Although I was aware of the simulation tank, nothing can really prepare you for what they can do there. It was amazingly realistic, they created waves, darkness and even sound effects – at times it really felt like there was a helicopter and its searchlight above us as we were in the life raft in the darkness. The tank was only part of the course and the quality of instruction throughout the week was outstanding, the instructors would not move on to another topic unless they knew that every volunteer crew member was happy and had understood what was being taught. Although I knew no one at the start of the course, we all soon learned to work as a team and I feel I’ve made many new friends. I’m also really proud of what we achieved and certainly better prepared.’
RNLI spokesperson David Williams, the Lifeboat Operations Manager at Fishguard said: ‘The support given by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation 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.’
Notes to Editors
This donation is just the latest in the LRF’s relationship with the RNLI, which was recognised in 2010 when it received the Group Supporter Award from HRH Prince Michael of Kent in recognition of its valuable support of the charity.
Lloyd’s Register Foundation donated £1M to the RNLI over 5 years from 2010–2015; and £400K over 2 years from 2008–2009, taking over the obligations of the Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust in 2013.
About Lloyd's Register Foundation
Lloyd’s Register Foundation is a charitable foundation which aims, through grant making, to connect science, safety and society by supporting research of the highest quality and promoting skills and education.
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For more information contact Rick Mabey, Fishguard Lifeboat Press Officer on 07785 953251.
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 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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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland