A pair of new lifeboat crew members at Littlehampton RNLI Lifeboat Station are to have a vital part of their crew training funded by The Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust (The LRET).

The two crew members – Thomas Bezants and Richard Winstanley – will complete the charity’s Trainee Crew Course at the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset in November.

A key part of the course is the sea survival element, which enables new volunteer crew members to be trained in a variety of crucial subjects including:

  • how to ‘abandon ship’ with a 4m jump into water
  • techniques for team survival swimming
  • coping in a life raft in simulated darkness
  • how to deal with fires aboard lifeboats
  • how to right a capsized inshore lifeboat, and
  • the importance of lifejackets

Thomas and Richard’s training takes place between 12-16 November in the Sea Survival Centre at the RNLI College in Poole, which includes a wave tank and a fire-fighting simulator, allowing trainees to experience first-hand some of the scenarios they may encounter on the sea as lifeboat crew.

The training was funded by The LRET, an independent charity that funds work to enhance the safety of life and property at sea, on land and in the air. The LRET is funding the Sea Survival element of the Trainee Crew Course for a five year period from January 2011 to December 2015. This additional funding of nearly £1M brings their total support to just over £1.5 million.

Allen Head, RNLI Training Divisional Inspector, said: ‘The training we give to our lifeboat crew members is considered by many to be among the best in the world – no matter what your skills or background, we pride ourselves on how well we prepare our volunteers to save lives.

‘The support given by The Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust 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 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 LRET’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.