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Million-pound training fund helps Portrush RNLI lifesavers learn vital skills

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Credit : Judy Nelson

Two recently recruited volunteer crew members at Portrush RNLI lifeboat station has had a vital part of their crew training funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

Lisa Abernethy and Christy Bradley, recently travelled to the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, to complete the charity’s Crew Emergency Procedures course. Lisa was inspired to join up as a volunteer crew member for the charity after she moved to Portrush with her husband and felt she could really contribute to the community and Christy is the latest in a long line of his family to join. In fact his father, Gerard, is an ex crew member and currently Deputy Launching Authority. Christy’s uncle Liam was also on crew.

The course sees volunteer crew being trained in a variety of crucial subjects such as how to deal with fires aboard lifeboats, how to ‘abandon ship’ in the event of an emergency (with a 4m jump into water), team survival swimming, coping in a life-raft in simulated darkness, how to right a capsized inshore lifeboat, and the importance of lifejackets. It also includes sessions on the correct use of flares, fire extinguishers and throw bags.

Talking about the training, Christy and Lisa, who both volunteer as a crew members said,

‘The training was so valuable and helped to put our station based training into context. It was also so useful to meet other crews from other stations and to share experiences. We both thoroughly enjoyed the experience and are very lucky to have been funded by the Foundation.

The training took place in the Sea Survival Centre at the RNLI College, where they were joined by other RNLI volunteer crew members from around the UK and Ireland.

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 has 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 brings their total support for RNLI crew training to just over £2.46M* since 2008. More than 3,000 RNLI volunteer crew members have now received the training thanks to Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s funding.

James Kilburn, Lifesaving Delivery Training Manager at the RNLI said, ‘We are so grateful to Lloyd’s Register Foundation for funding this vital part of our volunteer crews’ training.

‘Their support is very important to us and it’s fantastic how, so far, over 3,000 of our crew members have benefitted from Lloyd’s Register Foundation funding this part of their training. As only one in ten of our volunteer crew members comes from a professional maritime background, the Crew Emergency Procedures course is crucial in giving our volunteers the training they need and helping keep them as safe as possible while carrying out rescues. It gives volunteers the confidence to save lives even in the most challenging 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.

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