Volunteers sign up for RNLI crew

Atlantic 85 with crew (l-r) Jordan Reed, Paul Nelhams, Phill Terry and Colin Park. ''The RNLI on Hayling Island are calling for new volunteers to help maintain the service on Hayling Island.  ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (123820-784)
Atlantic 85 with crew (l-r) Jordan Reed, Paul Nelhams, Phill Terry and Colin Park. ''The RNLI on Hayling Island are calling for new volunteers to help maintain the service on Hayling Island. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (123820-784)
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A DOZEN new crew members have signed up to save lives on the sea.

The recruitment drive by the Hayling branch of the charity earlier this month was a huge success, with 17 people going along to two open days.

The number of volunteer members was getting low but of the 17, 12 have now signed up to be fully trained.

Lifeboat operations manager Jonathan Bradbury said: ‘We are delighted with the number of volunteers we’ve recruited.

‘And we’re grateful to all who came to see us, as well as the businesses and local organisations that supported our recruitment campaign.’

At the recruitment days, all the potential volunteers had the opportunity to chat to current crew, were shown the boats and personal safety equipment and experienced the boats launching.

The volunteers come from all walks of life.

Among the dozen is a dental technician and a civil servant.

Eight of the 12 will work as boat crew while the others will work onshore.

They will start a six-month training programme which will get them all to experience the shore crew role.

Crew numbers were getting so low volunteers were having to work double watches.

But by the spring, shift patterns should be back to normal.

Alan Bartlett, from the RNLI, said: ‘They come from all walks of life, men and women, but they all share a desire to commit to putting something back into the community.

‘They are fit and healthy people and want to save lives.’

Trainer Gil Carter said: ‘They will all follow a rigorous RNLI training programme which meets national standards across all lifeboat stations and synchronises with the national search and rescue services.’