Having been quiet on the blogging front, I thought it was about time to resolve it. So I thought I’d tell you about something that I did too help relieve the stress away from the University papers.
Having been a volunteer for so many years and having a thing for water. Having become known as the “Skins Lady”. What on earth am I talking about, I hear you ask? In other words, I’d been nominated to wear the oil skins on collection days inland! Yes, the RNLI does have a fleet of inshore lifeboats.
So off I was sent, down to Nautical College for training.
Having arrived there, I had this mental image running though my mind, of the opening scene from “An Officer and A Gentleman” I will let your imagination sort that one out.
Instead of expecting to do 100 press ups, I was asked what experience did I have of the sea and that I would be tested to my limits. That was an understatement if I ever heard one.
Over the weekend my poor body was subjected to all weather lifeboat experiences, even those that included the practice of a full capsize using bespoke training boards, in complete darkness. All simulated to very real effect, ranging from choppy conditions, thunder, lightning and helicopter recovery. Along with bridge simulator search and rescue operations and life raft experience.
And for those whiz kid experts there was the survival centre that housed live engineering work shops complete with life size lifeboat engines which could be dismantled and rebuilt.
If the above wasn’t enough there was development of critical mission teamwork skills, maintenance and benefits of life jackets and PPE. Being able to plot your way out of difficulty, and the best bit, pyrotechnics involving the use of flares and fire extinguishers.
It was a rather hectic schedule but thankfully I can say, thank goodness I was an observer. At least I got to work on some of my roping skills.
So, if you find yourself in a city or town and there is someone collecting for the Royal National Lifeboat Institutions, please don’t say, “Oh, we are inland, we don’t have any need for a lifeboat”. You’d be amazed how many times that phrase had been said. But think of all those people who have need rescuing away from the coast. Who has been there to help when other services haven’t been able to respond.
So if you’re an ex-mariner and fancy a new leash of life, but this time at the helm of a lifeboat, or even someone that has never experienced the power of the seas, if your interested in becoming a volunteer then please take a look at the RNLI webpage.
Click on the link http://rnli.org/Pages/default.aspx
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