A new volunteer crew member at Exmouth RNLI lifeboat station has had a vital part of their crew training funded by the Lloyd's Register Foundation.
Geoff Bowen, 33, from Exmouth recently travelled to the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, to complete the charity's Trainee Crew Course.
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 25m long 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 the Lloyd's Register Foundation, a UK registered charity that invests in science, engineering and technology for public benefit, worldwide. The Trust is funding the Sea Survival element of Trainee Crew Courses for a 5 year period from January 2011 to December 2015. This additional funding of nearly £1M brings their total support to just over £1.5M.
Talking about the training, Geoff said:
'I thoroughly enjoyed my week at Poole, the facilities and kit were amazing. The trainers did a great job of building on what I've learnt on station as well as providing many new tips and techniques. Having been trained in Sea Survival, I understand the drills to go through better, for example understanding casualties that have been in cold water and how my vital First Aid Training helps them survive.'
Exmouth RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Kevin Riley MBE 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.'
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.