Forging friendships within the RNLI family
Being a lifeboat crew member is a major commitment which is not only measured in the time involved with rescues but in detailed training, paperwork and interaction with other lifeboat stations and their crews.
Being part of a close-knit team at your local station extends to being part of the wider close-knit family of the RNLI across its 238 lifeboat stations around the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
Denis Brophy LOM (Lifeboat Operations Manager) at RNLI Walmer along with his helm, Daniel Sinclair, visited RNLI Rye Harbour on Sunday 17 March: this is a concrete example of the friendships forged between stations. Tony Edwards, LOM at Rye Harbour, and Denis have been friends for more years than they care to remember. It is so important to share ideas and practices between stations as a different perspective can often assist in a clear path forward. Denis reflected,
‘I have known Tony for many, many years and was keen to visit him at his station before he retires at the end of March. His departure after thirty-six years of dedicated service will be a big loss to the RNLI given the wealth of his knowledge and what he has achieved at the station.’
Dan, helm at Walmer, where they also have an Atlantic 85, wanted to visit Rye Harbour for a number of reasons: to meet the crew and to explore the local area as they set out on a training exercise and to catch up with friends. In 2017 he became part of the IMRF’s initiative. The International Maritime Rescue Federation organises an exchange programme each year for lifeboat crew from several European maritime sea rescue institutions including the RNLI. The chief goal of this exchange is for volunteers to learn from each other and to share knowledge. They come together for a week and are exposed to different training methods, ideas and cultures. One of the aims is to help develop areas of consistency between lifeboat services and thus prevent loss of life in the world’s waters. It was a test run and proved so successful that in 2018 Tony Peters, helm from RNLI Rye Harbour, followed in his footsteps. True friendship was forged and lots of ideas were exchanged with common goals shared. It made Dan very proud to be part of the RNLI and its professionalism which is admired around the world.
As Dan left he remarked, ‘Thank you so much for such a warm welcome from the team down at the Harbour. I really enjoyed going afloat, learning about the local area, how you operate and being part of the team.’
We define family in many different ways; not just by blood but by people with whom we find a common ground and a common goal: Saving lives at Sea.
RNLI Media contacts
• Kt Bruce, Rye Harbour RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer (07789) 818878 Kt@ktbrucephotography.com
• Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East), 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 firstname.lastname@example.org
• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789
RNLI online: For more information on the RNLI please visit http://www.rnli.org/. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre.
Key facts about the RNLI
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 237 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 180 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.
Learn more about the RNLI
Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries
Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.
The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland.
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.