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£1M training fund helps Stonehaven lifesaver learn vital skills

Lifeboats News Release

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 at RNLI College Poole

RNLI/Lorraine Clark

Mike Reading at RNLI College Poole

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 RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.