Barry lifeboat crew member's sound investment

FULLY TRAINED: Howard Metcalfe

FULLY TRAINED: Howard Metcalfe

First published in News

A BARRY volunteer can look forward to turbulent times thanks to a charity putting him through some water-based survival training.

New crew member at Barry Dock RNLI lifeboat station Howard Metcalfe has had a vital part of his training funded by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF).

Howard recently travelled to the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, to complete the charity’s Trainee Crew Course.

A key part of the course was the sea survival element, which enables new volunteer crew to be trained in a variety of crucial subjects including how to ‘abandon ship’ with a four-metre jump into water; team survival swimming and coping in a liferaft in simulated darkness; how to deal with fires aboard lifeboats; how to right a capsized inshore lifeboat; and the importance of lifejackets.

Training took place in the college’s Sea Survival Centre which includes a wave tank and a firefighting simulator, allowing trainees to experience first-hand some of the scenarios they may encounter at sea as lifeboat crew.

Training was funded by the LRF, a UK-registered charity that invests in science, engineering and technology for public benefit, worldwide.

It is funding the Sea Survival element of the Trainee Crew Course for a five-year period from January 2011 to December 2015.

The additional funding of nearly £1million brings their total support to just over £1.5million.

Howard said: "The training was world class. Although it was physically and emotionally challenging, it was well worth it. One thing that struck me was how terrifying it must be to be in the sea waiting for the RNLI lifeboat to rescue you. I will remember that when I am putting my training into practice and saving lives at sea.”

RNLI coxswain Hugh Davies said: “The support given by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation 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 sea survival skills; providing them with the courage, poise and self-confidence to save lives even in the most perilous seas.”

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