A View from the boathouse: Many hours of training for our dedicated crew

Whitby RNLI Coxswain Howard Fields with Miss Regatta Paris Mai Whisson aboard the lifeboat for the Whitby Regatta sail past. Saturday 18 August. Whitby Regatta 2017. Picture: Ceri Oakes w173002q
Whitby RNLI Coxswain Howard Fields with Miss Regatta Paris Mai Whisson aboard the lifeboat for the Whitby Regatta sail past. Saturday 18 August. Whitby Regatta 2017. Picture: Ceri Oakes w173002q

The month of October saw Whitby RNLI George and Mary Webb, All Weather Lifeboat Trent Class and Water Priory Inshore lifeboat attend two shouts.

The first of these to a report of five people cut off by the tide at Robin Hood’s Bay.

Whitby's all-weather lifeboat was called out to help tow a broken down pleasure boat during the fundraising at  Whitby Lifeboat Weekend. Saturday 5 August. Picture: Ceri Oakes

Whitby's all-weather lifeboat was called out to help tow a broken down pleasure boat during the fundraising at Whitby Lifeboat Weekend. Saturday 5 August. Picture: Ceri Oakes

The ILB launched during Saturday 21 with three crew members onboard. However, when the crew arrived all five persons had made their own way to safety, no assistance was required so the ILB returned to station.

The crew was then paged early hours Wednesday morning to information of a single handed vessel in distress. The ALB searched for approximately two hours, before the casualty was located on a passenger ferry.

Humber Coastguard, which co-ordinated the search, then stood the lifeboat down and the crew returned to harbour.

Our crew consists of male and female volunteers who give their time 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Of course, it isn’t just about attending incidents; it involves many hours of training to keep our crew competent and up-to-date with new equipment and life-saving procedures.

Wednesday evening has always been crew training night. We use this time to teach core skills including electronic navigation skills, boat handling, how to wear and operate personal protective equipment.

Each crew member needs to demonstrate competency to maintain training records.

It takes approximately two years to fully train a new crew member on station including a week spent at the RNLI College at Poole.

It costs approximately £1,527 a year to train a trainee crew member, plus £2,418 for basic kit. Whitby Lifeboat station costs £200,000 a year to run and maintain. We have a dedicated team of fundraising volunteers, Friends of Whitby Lifeboat (FOWLS), who organise events throughout the year to raise money to keep the station operational.

A recent event was held by local restaurateur Andrew Pern who raised more than £2,000.

Ongoing yearly fundraising include collecting 5p in jars which has raised over £650 this year alone.