Skip to content

Lifeboat training

2020 January 24
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

Comments are closed.