New Brighton and Hoylake RNLI in challenging training exercise

Lifeboat crews from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) at New Brighton and Hoylake were recently joined by the charity’s partners Ørsted for a wind turbine training exercise.

The training saw the lifeboat crews familiarise themselves with stretchers and winchers to be prepared for any potential future medical emergencies they might have to respond to.

Ørsted, which is one of the RNLI’s partners, set up a training day for lifeboat crew at New Brighton and Hoylake RNLI. The calm seas and sunny weather allowed for an intensive course over at the Burbo Bank Offshore Windfarm off the Liverpool coastline, and the lifeboat crew were put to the test.

The crews were working together while the wind farm team lowered a stretcher down from a turbine platform for the Hoylake and New Brighton RNLI lifeboats, they were given time to familiarise themselves with the process and then reattach it to be lifted back up. The aim was to re-enact the use of a helicopter when in real-life medical emergencies.

Hoylake RNLI Coxswain Howie Owen said, “The Burbo Bank Offshore Wind Farm managed by Ørsted is a major feature in Liverpool Bay, so this exercise was a great opportunity for our volunteer crew to see the features of the impressive turbines up close and to practise casualty transfers with the Ørsted team alongside New Brighton RNLI.

“Our volunteers often face challenging situations as part of a RNLI lifeboat crew. The exercise with Ørsted has meant our crew can train for a unique scenario, ensuring they have the knowledge and skills to evacuate a casualty quickly and safely in an emergency, if needed. We greatly value the RNLI’s partnership with Ørsted, both on shore and out at sea.”

The crew all have to undertake essential training in order to deliver their best possible life-saving techniques. Weekly RNLI training exercises focus on teamwork, technical competence and safe operating procedures covering everything from boat handling, search and rescue, radar training to navigation, radio communications and casualty care.

Their training is a continuous process where learning is always vital to their progression, the importance of days such like the Ørsted training means that RNLI crew can be fit for their potential future call outs.

Together, the RNLI and Ørsted are working towards a greener world and a safer sea. With RNLI crews launching in all manner of conditions to save lives, it’s crucial that they receive the best possible training so they are prepared for whatever they may face.

Lee Rollason, Head of Site for Burbo Bank at Ørsted, said, “Our partnership with the RNLI is very important and to be able to deliver this training has been another step in a great collaboration. Safety is one of the central pillars of our work, as the offshore environment can be extremely challenging, and that is why it’s paramount we make sure we’re equipped to deal with different scenarios.

“Thank you so much to the volunteers for being engaged and knowledgeable throughout the training, we really appreciate the time you volunteer to saving lives at sea.”

95% of the RNLI’s lifeboat crew are volunteers who have full-time jobs elsewhere. Without the grit and determination of those dedicated to their training, the RNLI would not have been able to save as many lives as they have over the years, just showing the importance of these challenging training sessions on their performances.

Image & video: RNLI

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