So you want to be part of Rhyl Lifeboat Crew?
The Volunteer Crews
Most of the lifeboatmen and women are volunteers who come from all walks of life. The occupation list of most stations makes for fascinating reading because it demonstrates the diversity of the people who are prepared to risk their lives to save others. Crew members include, fishermen, teachers, builders, solicitors, farmers, and shop keepers. In fact with the reduction in the size of fishing fleets, less than 10% of new crewmembers come with a nautical background. However they all are physically fit, dedicated to the job, and very much team players. Their commitment isn’t only measured in the time spent involved in rescues. Increasingly, new equipment and faster boats have meant that regular training programmes also account for much of their spare time. The number of crew per station varies according to the boats and equipment on site, and normally each station with an all-weather lifeboat has only one full-time crew member responsible for maintaining the lifeboat and its gear. However, the boat crews are only part of the whole team. The station could not function without the shore helpers.
The Shore Support Team
Vital to any station is the shore team who work to get the crew on the water as quickly as possible. In fact, the whole service is totally reliant on good teamwork by everyone involved. Behind the scenes at every launch are the shore helpers and the launching team who help to ensure that the boat gets underway as quickly as possible.
In order to become a volunteer crew member you must be at least 17 years of age, medically fit, with excellent eyesight; and normally live within 3 to 4 minutes of Rhyl lifeboat station. Crews members don’t have to have a maritime background although clearly if you do it is an advantage and will reduce both the length and the costs of your training. We have individuals from all walks of life on our crew, from plumbers to security guards. Most importantly, you will need to be fully committed to being able to respond at a moment’s notice, no matter where you are or what you are doing. Crews are regularly called away from their families, their beds, and their work; 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. However, in return, we can offer you one of the most exciting and fulfilling voluntary jobs available.
Rhyl Lifeboat crew meet every Sunday morning from 0930 to 1200. They also attend regular training events at the boathouse Tuesdays at 1930 (phone boathouse for details – 01745 344040). Exercises are carried out every 2 weeks with both boats, and crew attend regular training courses at the boathouse, in special mobile classrooms, or at Poole Headquarters. For the first 12 months you will be a probationer, and will be instructed how to be a competent crew member, with regular assessments. The choice of progression will then be up to you, depending on your level of commitment and the positions available. Because Rhyl is a carriage-launched Lifeboat station, there can be up to 30 crew on the books at one time, but probationers can be added whenever necessary.
Do not expect a monumental rise up the ranks. Patience and many years of hard work have been undertaken by our crews to get where they are today.
Come along on a Sunday if you feel you can make a difference to a hard-working team. We can’t promise you any miracles, but the rewards are tremendous in terms of job satisfaction and camaraderie.
Please contact the Coxswain or Lifeboat Operations Manager, on 01745 344040 on weekday mornings, or turn up on a Sunday.
E-mails should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org .
At the present time we are building up a list of applicants to join the crew. It must be stressed that any further applicants need to live within the town of Rhyl and be available during the day; and be able to respond within the 4 minutes stated, obeying all highway rules. There are positions both for boat crew and shore crew possible in the near future.
Please contact the boathouse first, and arrangements will be made to meet the coxswain and Lifeboat Operations manager to discuss.