Littlehampton’s lifeboats are amongst the busiest in the country, answering up to 100 calls each year. It’s great to feel needed, but a lot of calls means that sometimes there are extreme demands on the time of our volunteer crew and our shore team. We have to maintain our response time and our efficiency, so we are always on the lookout for volunteers who can offer their commitment, so that we can continue to meet the high standards that everyone associates with the RNLI.
Our crew, men and women, come from all walks of life and these days are rarely old salts that spend all their time at sea. In fact, new recruits often have little or no sea experience when they join us. That doesn’t matter, because, if they are suitable and are prepared to offer their time and enthusiasm, we will provide comprehensive and ongoing training so that they build experience and acquire qualifications to become competent and confident members of the crew. Lifeboat crew members have to be over 17, they must be fit and in good health, and will have to pass a medical.
We can’t launch our lifeboats without our shore based team. The shore crew prepares the boats for launch and drives our tractors. There is no formal medical, but members of the shore crew must be fit and healthy.
These are voluntary roles that occasionally bring discomfort and inconvenience, so that commitment mentioned earlier is essential. Currently we have a full complement of crew, and we also have a waiting list of those who have contacted us to enquire about joining our crew. Nevertheless, if you think that you might like to be a member of our lifeboat crew or our shore team, we would be happy to meet you even though we are unlikely to be able to invite you to join us just at the moment. Visit the boathouse on any Sunday morning from around 9am onwards to tell us about yourself and to learn more about what we do.