Fund helps lifesavers in training

Newbiggin RNLI volunteers Peter Leslie and Michael Brown after their training course. Credit: RNLI
Newbiggin RNLI volunteers Peter Leslie and Michael Brown after their training course. Credit: RNLI

TWO new lifeboat crew members at Newbiggin RNLI station have had a vital part of their training paid for through a funding trust.

The Lloyds Register Educational Trust (LRET) funded Peter Leslie, 21, and Michael Brown, 29, to travel to the RNLI Lifeboat College in Poole to complete a trainee crew course.

It included training in a variety of vital subjects including how to deal with fires aboard lifeboats, how to right a capsized inshore lifeboat, working with helicopters and the importance of lifejackets.

Training took place in the Sea Survival Centre at the college, which includes a wave tank and a fire-fighting simulator, which allows trainees to experience first hand scenarios they may encounter as crew members.

Michael, who works as an IT consultant, said: “Peter and I have had an intensive week of training in the very best of environments that has allowed us to further develop skills that we have gained during our operational time with the RNLI at Newbiggin.

“During the course, we also became part of a genuine rescue effort after a person fell into the water from the quayside.

“We were nearby at the time and so helped get the person to safety.”

Peter was inspired to join up as a volunteer crewman because of his connections and family association with the sea.

RNLI training divisional inspector Gareth Wilson said: “The support given by LRET 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 at the core of the RNLI.

“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.”The LRET is an independent charity that funds work to enhance the safety of life and property at sea, on land and in the air.

It is funding the sea survival element of the trainee crew course for a five-year period from 2011-15.

This additional support brings its total donation to £1.5m.