View Full Version : Kent community seeks fresh blood for crew ( RNLI )

Davie Tait
16th April 2013, 15:58

WALMER lifeboat station is hosting an open day on 20 April in a bid to attract new crew members from virtually any walk of life, with maritime experience by no means essential.

Denis Brophy, Lifeboat Operations Manager in the Kent port, said: "Every lifeboat station has its ups and downs with crew levels, but we're experiencing a real low right now. Although at the moment we are able to attend every shout for help, we might not be able to in the future so we're keen to reach anyone who might be interested in getting involved.

"Where we're really struggling is with daytime lifeboat cover. The main cause is the lack of people in local employment.

"Unfortunately for us jobs draw crew away from Walmer and Deal and they're just not in a position to respond to the pager if they're working in the next town.

"I think sometimes people are discouraged from getting involved with the lifeboats because they have little sailing experience, or they're not into watersports. But what they don't realise is only one in ten lifeboat crew members come from a maritime background. It's not unusual to find builders, tradesmen, solicitors, hairdressers, and all manner of other jobs amongst the crew, which makes for a real community feel.

"We hope this event will bust some of the myths the only thing you need to get involved at a lifeboat station is a little time, a willingness to help and the desire to support a wider cause."

The RNLI is particularly interested to hear from younger people as the role of volunteer lifeboat crew member would suit people with young families, people in their 20s and 30s and who live or work nearby: volunteer lifeboat crew members must be able to reach the lifeboat station within ten minutes.

Elizabeth Renshaw, RNLI Volunteer Recruitment Advisor, said: "Being a volunteer lifeboat crew member can be hugely rewarding, as you get to help a lifesaving cause at the same time as becoming part of a whole new community. The crew training provided by the RNLI charity is second to none, so you don't have to have a scrap of previous maritime or sailing experience you just need to be keen, enthusiastic and willing commit to the cause."

The station recruitment event will take place from 11am to 1pm and anyone is welcome to go along. In the meantime, anyone interested in enquiring about the station can email the station at Walmer@rnli.org.uk or elizabeth_renshaw@rnli.org.uk