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A true professional both on the beat and on the beaches

Lifeboats News Release

Rob Jennings, new trainee RNLI lifeboat crew member juggles shift work to enable him to be both a policeman and team member at Rye Harbour

RNLI/KT and Martin Bruce

Rob Jennings: both policeman and RNLI trainee crew member


Rob, who lives in Rye with his wife Josephine, has been a policeman since 2009 and became a lifeboat trainee crew member in October 2018. He was educated at the University of Westminster and studied Computer Sciences. He loves the sea and all things associated with it and as a youngster wanted to join the Navy but later felt that as a family man it just wouldn’t work. He started his employment in the computer science world after university but soon found that he wanted a varied job that would bring different challenges so he joined the police force. He is now a Neighbourhood Response Officer and will often be the first on scene at an incident.

Just as a police officer is a respected member of the community who performs vital services for its good, so, too is a member of the lifeboat crew going out on a shout to save lives at sea. Very similar qualities are required in both roles. Being good with people on all levels is a must for those times when dealing with members of the public who are suffering a loss or who have been involved in a tragic accident. It is important to be both calm and sympathetic at the same time. Good communication skills and the ability to be a team player are also important, helping to create a safe environment in which to work.

In both aspects of Rob’s life he is called upon to solve problems swiftly and this requires mental agility and keeping a clear head in a crisis. The desire to gain new skills, being naturally curious and eager to learn has enabled Rob to fit in well at the lifeboat station in the Harbour. He is keen to keep fit and recently ran the Brighton half-marathon. He loves motor-bikes and cycling too. He is a keen kite-surfer and this has taught him the need to respect the water which is often unpredictable.

Rob was one of seven new recruits to join the station at Rye Harbour in the autumn of 2018. They have had weekly and weekend intensive training sessions to get them boat-ready and some, including Rob, have had the opportunity put these new learnt skills into practice on their first shouts.

Rob’s shift patterns in the force have enabled him often to be free during weekdays which is a bonus because it is a difficult time to cover for many lifeboat stations: more crew members these days work too far from a station to attend a shout when the pagers go off.

Stuart Clark, a fellow new-trainee commented, ‘Training with Rob as a ‘newbie’ lifeboat crew member has been a pleasure. He brings a high degree of professionalism to the team. As a police officer he is used to working in high-pressure situations and this gives confidence to those working alongside him.’

RNLI Media contacts

• Kt Bruce, Rye Harbour RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer (07789) 818878 Kt@ktbrucephotography.com

Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East), 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 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/KT Bruce

During training Rob learning about rope handling

RNLI/KT Bruce

Rob learning to use the salvage pump at the boathouse

RNLI/KT Bruce

training also includes making sure the wetsuits are watertight and in good condition

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.

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 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

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