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, Ben, who volunteers as a crew member aboard both the D-class inshore lifeboat and Mersey class all-weather lifeboat, said: ‘The week at the College in Poole has been amazing. Meeting other crew members from around the UK is always really interesting, and we have learnt so much. The training has really put us through our paces and made us realise both how much we had already learnt and how much there was we didn’t know. Survival training is just epic! Hopefully we’ll never go through any of the scenarios for real, but it’s important to be prepared, as you never know what might happen on a shout.’
Ben, by joining the volunteer crew at Ilfracombe, is following in his father, volunteer Coxswain Andrew Bengey’s footsteps. He has been an integral part of the team at Ilfracombe RNLI for a long time, with several years as a fundraiser before he turned 17 and could join up as crew. He has taken to his training as if born to be a volunteer crew member, and in his first year has already been a vital part of several lifeboat ‘shouts’, on both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats.
Ilfracombe RNLI’s volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager Chris Wallis 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.
Notes to Editors
About the Lloyd's Register Foundation
The Lloyd's Register Foundation (LRF) is a UK registered charity and sole shareholder of Lloyd’s Register Group Ltd, and invests in science, engineering and technology for public benefit, worldwide.
Please find attached a photograph showing Ben Bengey at the RNLI College in Poole, with the first Shannon class all-weather lifeboat Jock and Annie Slater in the background. Please credit RNLI/Ilfracombe.
For more information please telephone Suzie Tubby, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07961317088 or email email@example.com