Training in place for volunteers

Captain Herb Carol (left) with Barry Elliott at BAWLB.
Captain Herb Carol (left) with Barry Elliott at BAWLB.

A NEW training scheme has been launched by a lifesaving charity in a bid to recruit new volunteers.

The Blyth All Weather Lifeboat (BAWLB) service has embarked on the scheme to attract new crew members following the controversial Channel 4 documentary Geordies Overboard.

The programme – filmed between May and December 2011 – sparked fury as it was deemed to ‘make a mockery’ of the service and the volunteers who gave up their time to support it.

A newly appointed management team at the lifeboat has introduced a rigorous training and recruitment process for volunteers, in accordance with the nationally recognised Code of Practice for open rescue boats of less than 15 metres in length.

Head of operations and training, Captain Herb Carol, said: “Since December last year, we have worked hard to develop more structure within BAWLB.

“As a result, we are able to implement a more robust training regime by improving and developing the previous procedures to ensure that we become one of the tightest and most disciplined rescue services in the UK.”

The training process will involve tests of fitness, team work and mental agility.

BAWLB trustee chairman Barry Elliott added: “We are hoping to encourage numerous applicants which, if they pass the training and selection process, will leave us with a team who will be able to deal confidently and professionally in any given situation.”

The charity raises money to cover the purchase of uniforms and safety equipment, as well as maintaining the lifeboat.

Captain Carol added: “It is not just the boat crew and helpers at the lifeboat station who contribute towards BAWLB’s lifesaving aim – there is a whole band of wonderful people who help raise funds and get involved in other opportunities, which is vital to our ongoing development.”

Anyone who is interested in becoming a crew member should e-mail