Happisburgh volunteer abandons ship in lifeboat drama

Martin Gibbs, from Happisburgh.

Martin Gibbs, from Happisburgh. - Credit: Submitted

New crew member Martin Gibbs completed the training exercise at the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset.

A new volunteer crew member at Happisburgh RNLI lifeboat station has had a vital part of their crew training funded by Lloyd's Register Foundation.

Martin Gibbs, from Happisburgh, recently travelled to RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, to complete the charity's Trainee Crew Course.

A key part of the course is 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 4m 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 Sea Survival Centre at the charity's college, which includes a 25m wave-generating survival tank, allowing trainees to experience first-hand some of the scenarios they may encounter at sea should they ever need to abandon their lifeboat.

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The training was funded by Lloyd's Register Foundation (LR Foundation), a UK registered charity that connects science, safety and society by supporting quality research and promoting skills and education. The Foundation is funding the Sea Survival element of RNLI's Trainee Crew Courses for a further 5 year period from January 2016 to December 2020. This additional funding of £1.06M will bring their total support for RNLI crew training to just over £2.46M*.

Talking about the training, Martin, who volunteers as a crew member, said: 'The training was very good, hard work, training with crews from all over the country gave us an idea of how other stations work. The training will stand me in good stead to be a valuable part of the team at Happisburgh.'

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Martin, who was inspired to join up as a volunteer crew member because he wanted to help his community, has since put his knowledge to good use in part of the ongoing training at Happisburgh Station. He now feels more equipped to carry out his role as part of the team.

RNLI Training Coordinator, Cubitt Siely said: 'The support given by LR Foundation is hugely important to the RNLI. We are extremely grateful that the Foundation has chosen to continue to fund sea survival training, which teaches vital core skills to our volunteer crew.

'This training is vital to help keep volunteers as safe as possible 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.'

This donation is just the latest in LR Foundation's relationship with the RNLI, which was recognised in 2010 when it received the Group Supporter Award from HRH Prince Michael of Kent in recognition of its valuable support of the charity.

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