Portsmouth lifeboat volunteers issue plea for daytime recruits

LINE-UP The Eastney lifeboat crew.  Picture: RNLI
LINE-UP The Eastney lifeboat crew. Picture: RNLI
Jacob Monerville. Credit: Hampshire Constabulary

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LIFE-SAVING sea rescue volunteers are throwing open the doors of their lifeboat station in a bid to recruit new members.

The Portsmouth RNLI station currently has a low number of volunteers who can answer emergency calls during the daytime.

In a bid to fix their falling numbers, the crews are holding an open day later this month for anyone who might be interested in joining them.

Barry Taylor, the lifeboat operations manager at Portsmouth’s RNLI station, said: ‘Every lifeboat station has its ups and downs with crew levels, but for some reason we’re really at a low right now.

‘We’re keen to reach anyone who might be interested in getting involved.

‘Where we’re really struggling is with daytime cover.

‘Today it’s less common for people to live and work in the same place, so although we have a lot of people on call in the evenings, we’re short on people who could crew the lifeboat during the day.’

An open day will take place on March 31, from 10am until 2pm at the station in Ferry Road, Eastney.

Barry said he hopes the open day will help dispel some of the myths about joining a lifeboat crew.

He added: ‘I think sometimes people are discouraged from getting involved because they have little sailing experience, or are not into watersports.

‘Only one in 10 crew members comes from a maritime background.

‘You’re more likely to find retail workers, web designers, and builders, which makes for a real community feel.’

If you want to volunteer, e-mail portsmouth@rnli.org.uk.