Every crew member undergoes a structured training programme, and trainee crew members need to attain a level of competence before being fully enrolled as active crew. Most training is done at sea, with weekly exercises afloat, supplemented with monthly night exercises. There are also shore-based training sessions, including first-aid and radio courses provided by RNLI mobile units. All crew members should have the opportunity to attend an intensive five-day residential course based at the RNLI Lifeboat College in Poole. In addition to the ‘in house’ training, quarterly inspections take place, when the Lifeboat crew are required to demonstrate their skills under the watchful and critical eye of an RNLI Divisional Inspector.
Training is an on-going process for the duration of a Lifeboat crew member’s service. It is not the kind of job where you ever know it all!