£1M training fund helps Stonehaven lifesaver learn vital skills
A newly recruited volunteer crew member at Stonehaven RNLI lifeboat station has had a vital part of their crew training funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation.
Mike Reading, 38, from Stonehaven, recently travelled to the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, to complete the charity’s Crew Emergency Procedures course. Mike was inspired to join up as a volunteer crew member when he moved to Stonehaven to help him meet people and get involved in the local community. Mike’s regular job is Senior Operational Meteorologist with the Met Office, which involves producing a wide range of forecasts, including aviation, mountain forecasts, marine forecasts around the world and flood forecasting for Scotland.
The course sees volunteer crew being trained in a variety of crucial subjects such as how to ‘abandon ship’ with a 4m jump into water, team survival swimming, coping in a liferaft in simulated darkness, how to right a capsized inshore lifeboat, and the importance of lifejackets. It also covers emergency fire theory such as how to deal with fires aboard lifeboats, and practical sessions on the correct use of flares, fire extinguishers and throw bags.
Training took place in the Sea Survival Centre at the charity’s college, which includes a 25m wave-generating survival tank, allowing trainees to experience first-hand some of the scenarios they may encounter at sea should they ever need to abandon their lifeboat.
The training was funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a charitable foundation that helps to protect life and property by supporting engineering-related education, public engagement and the application of research. The Foundation is committed to funding the RNLI’s Crew Emergency Procedures course for a second 5-year period until December 2020. This additional funding of £1.06M will bring their total support for RNLI crew training to just over £2.46M*.
Talking about the training, Mike, who volunteers as a crew member, said: “The training at Poole was excellent, with fantastic facilities and first rate trainers. Their relaxed and patient styles of teaching helped to consolidate and build on the training I’d had at my station and made for a very enjoyable week”
David Knaggs, Lifesaving Delivery Training Manager at the RNLI said, ‘We are so grateful to Lloyd’s Register Foundation for choosing to fund this vital part of our volunteer crews’ training.
Their support is hugely important to us, and it’s fantastic how many of our crew have so far been able to benefit from Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s support of their training. This training is crucial in helping keep our volunteers as safe as possible whilst carrying out rescues. It gives volunteers the confidence to save lives even in the most difficult conditions.’
This donation is the latest in Lloyd’s Register Foundation’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.
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
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