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Walmer RNLI volunteer takes part in international crew exchange programme

Lifeboats News Release

An RNLI volunteer from Walmer Lifeboat Station recently took part in a week-long lifeboat crew exchange programme organised by the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF), joining colleagues from the UK, Ireland and across Europe.

RNLI/Christopher Winslade

Dan Sinclair (right) on night exercise

Dan Sinclair, a volunteer helmsman at Walmer RNLI travelled to Lisbon, Portugal from 23 to 30 September to join with other search and rescue (SAR) volunteers from France, Estonia, Germany, Holland and Portugal.

The programme, funded by the IMRF, has been running since 2012 and invites volunteers from 13 lifeboat services to send crew members to different European locations to work and train with that country’s SAR team. It included a variety of day and night exercises including first aid and survival training, casualty transfers, navigation and recovery.

Dan’s visit was hosted by the Instituto de Socorros a Naufragos (ISN) which is part of the Portuguese navy and has only 95 lifeboat crew members for the entire country.

Speaking of his experience Dan said: ‘I was delighted and excited when my application to take part in the exchange was accepted and proud to be representing the RNLI.’

‘I was surprised how well equipped the RNLI is compared to other nations, some of whom have to supply their own kit.’

‘Despite the obvious language barriers, although Maritime English is encouraged within crews, we worked well together as a team, especially on the final day when we successfully recovered three people in life raft seven nautical miles off shore after a 60-mile passage in thick fog.’

The ultimate goal of the exchange is to provide volunteer crews with experiences and knowledge which they can share with others on the programme and with their own crews when they return home with the aim of improving Maritime SAR responses and helping prevent loss of life in Europe’s waters.

RNLI media contacts

  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207416, 07786 668825, paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk

  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

RNLI online: For more information on the RNLI please visit http://www.rnli.org/. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre.

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 237 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 180 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.

The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland.

RNLI/Christopher Winslade

Dan (fifth from right) with international crew members in Portugal

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.

 

The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland

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