Barry Dock lifeboat sees increased demand in 2013

Barry And District News: READY TO RESPOND: Some of the RNLI Barry Dock lifeboat crew (3166167) READY TO RESPOND: Some of the RNLI Barry Dock lifeboat crew (3166167)

VOLUNTEER crew with the RNLI Barry Dock lifeboat responded to 43 ‘shouts’ during 2013 in a year that saw calls for their aid double.

Twentysix members, living within a two mile radius of the harbour station, also responded to seven assemblies, pages for non-launches, and exercises.

The team had their busiest summer in 24 years with their busiest day involving three launches.

And the team’s fundraising and community education missions – 6000 visits - continued apace in a year which saw crew unable to identify patterns in why the public needed their help.

The £10,000 Pontoon appeal reached its target, but the fundraising committee and crew said they needed to continually bring in the cash to enable the service to prosper.

RNLI Barry Dock lifeboat spokeswoman, Abi Phillips said: “Barry will need a Tamar in the next few years, but will first need some work doing on its shore buildings that are barely fit for purpose.

“It costs about £1000 per crew member per year to train. Some volunteers on the Barry crew are also flood rescue volunteers, such as Marc Gibbons who was called out the day before Christmas Eve last year to Cornwall. His colleagues on that shout were awarded medals by the RNLI and the Pride in Britain Awards recently.

“The station has had the busiest summer in 24 years. The crew train constantly to make sure that they are prepared to respond to any emergency. They do this on top of work and home commitments and are on call 24/7.

“It doesn’t just affect the crew, but the families that are abandoned in restaurants and supermarkets and it’s their children as well.”

She said Barry Dock Lifeboat station had a strong fundraising branch, which is needed to raise the money necessary for the station to keep on saving lives.

The average annual running costs of an all-weather lifeboat station like Barry’s is £215,000 and the money is raised through door-to-door collections, fundraising events, and donations.

Trainee crew member, dad-of-three 47-year-old John Dungey, owner of C & H Plumbing Supplies, Broad Street, said he had wanted to become part of the volunteer crew for a number of years.

“I’ve never been in a position to offer day cover so I had to buy a company to do it!” he said.

“I like to help people and this fits nicely.”

Engineer, Stuart Cothill, 26, also in training, said he was looking forward to joining the team.

“I do a fair amount of kayaking,” he said. “I’ve never had to call them, but I want to donate a bit of my time.”

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