Plea for Hayling RNLI for volunteers to help save lives at sea

Hayling Island RNLI needs more volunteers
Hayling Island RNLI needs more volunteers
Black Star Riders: from left, Scott Gorham, Chad Szeliga, Ricky Warwick,  Robbie Crane and Damon Johnson.  Picture by Richard Stow

Black Star Riders come under Heavy Fire on their latest tour

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AN URGENT call has been made for new lifeboat crew.

Hayling Island RNLI is on the minimum number of offshore and shore crew after several people left recently.

At the moment, volunteers are taking on extra shifts but a recruitment day is being held this weekend to encourage more volunteers to sign up.

Alan Bartlett, from the Hayling station, said: ‘People have left for a variety of reasons – such as an increase in the workloads of their full-time jobs.

‘At the moment we’re down to a minimum level of crew and less than that for shore crew.

‘If everybody turns up we’re okay. What’s happening at the moment is other people are turning out, willingly, to make sure we have enough crew.

‘Really, we need spare bodies in each as there is always going to be somebody who, for whatever reason, can’t turn out.

‘Minimum levels are being covered but we need half a dozen crew to make sure that we always have cover.

‘We have never been at a point where we can’t provide cover and we never want to get to that point.’

Mr Bartlett added: ‘We are a busy station with plenty happening and we can promise excitement, friendship, and a full training programme.

‘You will get a real sense of fulfilment in serving the community and in helping others to overcome challenges and accidents at sea.’

Crew need to be prepared to go out in all weathers and fully trained both in boat handling and in first aid.

‘The station deals with around 90 incidents each year,’ said Mr Bartlett.

‘We have had 75 launches in 2014, rescued 66 people and three dogs, and saved 39 vessels/craft. Now that’s not a bad record.’

Shore crew who launch and recover the boats and who care for casualties brought back to the station are also needed.

You must live and work locally.

If you are interested go along to the station, in Bracklesham Road, this Sunday between 10am and midday or on Sunday, February 1.

If you cannot make it e-mail hayling-island@rnli.org.uk or call Mr Bartlett on 07749 061220.