A new volunteer crew member at St Agnes RNLI lifeboat station has completed their Trainee Crew Course, helped by funding from the Lloyd’s Register Foundation.
Paul Fisher, 38, from St Agnes, travelled to the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, to complete the course by taking part in sea survival training.
He underwent exercises covering 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.
The Sea Survival Centre at the RNLI College in Poole 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 five year period from January 2011 to December 2015. This additional funding of nearly £1 million brings their total support to just over £1.5 million.
Paul Fisher, who volunteers as crew on Blue Peter IV, said: "The course in invaluable; being able to practice sea survival and capsize drills in a controlled environment gives you a level of training you simply could not get elsewhere."
Paul was inspired to join up as a volunteer crew member as he had always spent a lot of time in the sea and had appreciated the presence and selfless commitment of the RNLI lifeboat crews. He has since put his training to use as he was part of the crew who went out on the lifeboat to attend a recent shout for a fishing boat that experienced engine trouble and needed a tow back to shore.
He said: "The level of training provided keeps you focused as part of a team and prepared for such situations.’
St Agnes RNLI operations manager Nick Marsh said: "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."