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Lifeboat crew go overboard for capsize drill

Morecambe RNLI volunteer inshore lifeboat crew Helmsman Steve Wilson inside the capsized inshore lifeboat during capsize training in Morecambe Bay.

Morecambe RNLI volunteer inshore lifeboat crew Helmsman Steve Wilson inside the capsized inshore lifeboat during capsize training in Morecambe Bay.

Morecambe’s RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew have been preparing for the worst by practicing their capsize drill in the Bay.

Members of the public taking a stroll along Morecambe promenade, or the Lune cycle path near Halton Camp, in recent weeks may have seen Morecambe’s RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew practising capsize drill procedures as part of their on-going training; aimed at preparing them as much as possible for every eventuality that they might face during a rescue mission.

The training requires them to first capsize the inshore lifeboat and then swim underneath it, to access the space under the hull, in order to familiarise themselves with the appearance, lay out and evacuation points in the event the worst happens and the boat capsizes during a rescue mission.

Using their combined body-weight, they then have to re-right the boat, climb aboard and restart the engine.

Morecambe RNLI volunteer crew member and press officer Colin Midwinter said: “The inshore lifeboat is required to launch in adverse weather conditions and all crew members should practice the drill annually.

“However, it is not appropriate to compromise the operational readiness of our own inshore lifeboat and neither is it practical to send everyone to the Lifeboat College in Poole every year to complete the training.

“Consequently, a designated training boat is circulated for a three week period every year to each lifeboat station to enable the crew to complete this critical element of their training programme.”

Although the capsize boat will have moved on, members of the public are invited to watch the crew demonstrate rescue procedures and other aspects of their work, enabling them to see for themselves how their donations contribute to saving lives, during Morecambe Lifeboat Station’s open day on Saturday, July 12.

 

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