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Lifeboat training

2020 January 24
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by Grenville

I enjoy being the Training manager at Hamble Lifeboat. Not many people know this but there are 86 Independent Lifeboat services around UK & I. When we talk about “Independent” it basically means that each is financially independent and supported solely by the community they serve. We are one of seven independents in the Solent & IOW area. Not many people know this…

I ran the figures a couple of months back – well I had to, I was asked to do a short presentation on Indie Lifeboats to MP’s at Portcullis House. I started with facts. The Facts that we know are those supplied by the RNLI. Just remember the coastline of UK & I is some 20,000 miles long. The RNLI provide National coverage and are brilliant.

However there are areas that aren’t covered, or solely covered, by RNLI boats for a whole raft of reasons…

RNLI stats for 2018 show a total of 8,964 launches. The RNLI maintain a total of 238 stations around the coast. Divide one into the other and thats an average of 38 launches per station.

What do we know for sure about Independents? Not a lot as there isn’t one single co-ordinating body. What do we know?

In 2018 Hamble Lifeboat attended 103 incidents.

The Solent, according to the RNLI stats is the second busiest area in the country for rescues, after the River Thames.

There are 8 Independent Lifeboats in NI
There are 8 Independent Lifeboats in Scotland
There are 4 Independent Lifeboats in Wales
There are 38 Independent Lifeboats in England
There are 28 Independent Lifeboats in Ireland

Total 86 Indi’s.

Let’s just assume that Independents average just 30 incidents a year. That equates to 2,580 incidents attended.

Nationally that adds up to 11,544 incidents/launching between RNLI & Independents. Which mean somewhere between 20% – 30% of tidal/fresh water lifeboat rescues are carried out by the Community funded and supported Lifeboats, all of whom are run on an entirely voluntary basis…

We’re just trying to gather the Indi’s incidents numbers for 2019. The results so far are sobering. Its a far higher figure than supposed!

Our service has to provide everything for the volunteer crew. Not only the boats and the kit (PPE) but all the admin, procurement and the writing and delivery of all our own training.

Below is the link to a training video that we put together last year about the use of a DROGUE. “What’s a Drogue?…” well you’ll just have to watch to find out. Follow this link… (PS: Thank you Flexisail for Osprey!)

Hamble Lifeboat

Hamble Lifeboat 2019

2020 January 9
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by admin

You may know – you may not, that besides my work as an Event Producer, I’m also the Cox and Training Manager of Hamble Lifeboat. I also – when work is thin of the ground a Yachtmaster Instructor. I teach people to sail.

Hamble Lifeboat is crewed totally by volunteers. Is one of the top 10 – if not the top 5, busiest Lifeboats in the UK&I.

Hamble Lifeboat

Hamble is one of the 89 Independently run Lifeboats still in operation around the Coast. So whilst we work alongside the RNLI boats, we are not part of that illustrious Institution; neither do we have their funding or resources. So’s its a little bit harder for us to make ends meet. For instance… just found out that water has seeped into the three aft most cylinders of one of the engines. The whole thing has to come out and be rebuilt. Its about £15,000.00 or so. OUCH! We’ll all be putting our heads together on how we can raise a few extra pennies to help out. Anyone with any bright ideas PLEASE get in touch –

In the meantime – I put together a little review of the year for the crew… a look back on a busy 2019. Can’t show you the whole thing, as its huge and 21 mins long. However, part of that review was a look back at just one of the fund raising initiatives that we put into practice. We walked around the whole of the Isle of wight and visited all of the Search & Rescue organisations we could… 7 in total. Mileage. 78 miles over 3 days.

The Wight Wobble 2019

McLaren Speedtail

2020 January 9
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by admin

Back in October 2018 we were asked by Sprout to Produce the launch of the latest McLaren – the McLaren Speedtail. This was done in a complete hush hush at Bonhams Gallery in the heart of London, to a VERY bespoke audience, primarily those that had already bough the car without seeing it.

Came up with a really simply, but neat, idea to put the Car in the middle (McLaren brief was all about putting the Driver at the heart of everything…) and filling the surrounding walls (which just happened to be a mid grey felt) with projection.

VERY Little time to get-in. At the arrival of the car everyone was extremely jumpy – I think we constructed a tunnel betwixt truck and entrance in the end. Ha! and then the car tipped up SO late that the crew that had been in place had changed shift (24 hour working) and it took an age to find the Rigger with the key to the control to set the rig as car rolled into place.

“For the sake of the Nail, the shoe was lost…”

Funny how things have a habit of cascading… Anyway – all there in the end and the revealed worked just fine. No photos, no video – nada! Because it was all so sensitive…

The Speedtail

Since this happens SO often in our business – you find yourself with nothing to show for months of toil and stress – I am hugely envious of Architects! At least whatever you design/create, it has a shelf-life, for all to see and admire. If you’ve done a decent job it could be in place for years and years.

In the Corporate Events industry, your creation, your baby, disappears in hours and you are left bereft, with absolutely dick-all to show for it…

Looking back I must admit it was really good to meet and work with the design team at McLaren.

I only wish they’d design and build a Lifeboat for us! Ho-Hum…