New Helmsman for Withernsea Lifeboat Station

Lifeboats News Release

Withernsea RNLI volunteer crew member becomes the station's latest Helmsman.

RNLI/Rachel Gowen

Darren Hickey after passing his assessment
Darren Hickey has been a volunteer crew member at Withernsea Lifeboat Station for over three years. He has undergone various training units to become the newest Helmsman on the D Class Lifeboat Henley Eight.

There were multiple stages of training both on station and at sea, including search and rescue simulation, navigation, medical based exercises and anchoring.

As part of the training, Darren attended the RNLI College in Poole for a week of intensive training. His seamanship skills were assessed at the end of each unit, culminating in a pass out assessment. This involved the use of flares, a search and rescue and managing a simulated engine failure.

The training and assessments are all undertaken in the volunteer’s free time. The training takes dedication and commitment. Lifeboat Operations Manager Martin Woodhouse said: ‘Darren’s hard work and commitment will help Withernsea Lifeboat provide vital lifesaving cover here on the East Coast.’

After his assessment Darren commented: ‘I found the weather conditions challenging but with the help of the volunteer crew on the day, we worked well as a team. I am over the moon that all the hard work I have put in has paid off and I am looking forward to continuing my development as a Helmsman at Withernsea RNLI Station.’

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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