Redcar volunteer takes part in international exchange programme

Dave Scott

An RNLI volunteer from Redcar is joining colleagues from other parts of the UK and Ireland to take part in a week-long lifeboat crew exchange programme organised by the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF).

Dave Scott, a volunteer helmsman at Redcar RNLI, is travelling to the French lifeboat services’ training centre in St Nazaire, on the Brittany coast on Saturday 24 September 2016.

The exchange programme is designed to encourage volunteer crews from 13 lifeboat services in Europe and beyond to share experiences and knowledge with the aim of improving maritime search and rescue responses and help to prevent loss of life in Europe’s waters.

Each organisation operates its own training programme and the crew members will experience this training first hand over the course of the week, exposing them to new training content as well as the different styles and approach their hosts may use.

Dave’s seven-day visit is being hosted by the Société Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer (SNSM). He will spend three days at sea on SNSM lifeboats and take part in a range of training exercises ranging from navigation to first aid and helicopter operations. He will also give a talk to the other participants on the work of the RNLI and the Redcar lifeboat station in particular.

Dave Scott said: ‘I was really excited when I learned my application had been accepted. It’s a privilege to be representing the RNLI on the European Lifeboat Crew Exchange.

‘It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to both learn from other crews and pass on search and rescue techniques from the RNLI’s training and my experience on station at Redcar. This training and learning will undoubtedly help other volunteer crews, just like us, from around the globe, save lives at sea.

‘I look forward to bringing back what I learn from our neighbours and sharing my experiences with our crew at Redcar and throughout the RNLI.

The outcomes of the programmes to date have included increased experience of lifeboat crew members along with improved professional knowledge, working in a trans-national team, and continuous sharing of knowledge and increased mutual understanding of the challenges faced in maritime search and rescue.

The exchange programme will include representatives from 13 countries. Nine will host a full seven days of activities for visiting crew members. The countries involved in this multi-organisation lifeboat training are Germany, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, England, France, The Netherlands, Portugal, Estonia, Curacao and Latvia.