Portsmouth RNLI’s desperate call for more volunteers

LIFESAVERS The RNLI crew at Portsmouth Lifeboat Station, and inset, the recruitment poster
LIFESAVERS The RNLI crew at Portsmouth Lifeboat Station, and inset, the recruitment poster

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LIFEBOAT volunteers are desperately needed because not enough lifesavers are around during the day.

RNLI volunteers based at Portsmouth Lifeboat Station in Ferry Road, Eastney, are on the hunt for people who can be on hand to rush to emergency call-outs.

LIFESAVERS The recruitment poster

LIFESAVERS The recruitment poster

Many work off Portsea Island and are not available to respond to daytime shouts quickly enough, meaning the service is heavily over-stretched.

New volunteers would become trainee crew members and work on board the station’s two vessels, the Nora T and Brian’s Pride, and help with communication at the base while the boats are out.

Current crew member Dave Spencer joined the team two years ago.

The 41-year-old of Douglas Road, Copnor, said: ‘It’s hard work but great fun. It’s the excitement of not knowing what you’re going to that gets you hooked.

‘You could be called out to anything from a boat being stuck on the top of the submarine barrier to beached whales.

‘You just never know what to expect.’

New recruits will receive full training, so although maritime experience is an advantage, it is not essential.

But volunteers do need to be between the ages of 18 and 35, have good eyesight, live or work in the Portsmouth area, and have their own transport.

Jacqui Hutchins, deputylaunching authority for the station, said: ‘New volunteers will be given a high standard of nautical training and most people who do it really enjoy it.

‘They get the chance to be out on the water a lot and they have the satisfaction of knowing the are helping people.’

Call (023) 9281 4811 or email Portsmouth@rnli.org.uk