Thursday, 7 December 2006

James and Nick - Probationers all

Getting the balance of the crew of a lifeboat right can be tricky. Wisdom is good but one can have too many Gandalfs. Youth adds vigour but sometimes lacks judgement. There being little work in Swanage we find it hard to find crew who are available during the day; consequently we snap up anyone who is basically mobile and can get to the boathouse at a moments notice during a weekday.

Seldom does a new volunteer have any nautical experience, though that is no problem, we have an extended induction period and the lifeboat college does a fantastic job of training volunteers in the ways of the sea.

Once approached by a new volunteer we ask them to spend 3 months visiting the station on a regular basis, attend exercises and generally get to know the crew. At the end of this period there will be a crew meeting without them present and the crew will vote whether to accept them onto the crew as a ‘shore helper’. Most often this happens without a glitch and they then get a pager and spend 3 months getting a more hands-on feel for what goes on by helping on the slipway and in the boathouse. The very lucky also get a trip out on the boat at this stage. A further 3 months pass and after another ‘crew meeting’ they would hopefully be accepted as a ‘probationer’. At this point they will begin training on the boat in earnest and will be treated as a full crew member (albeit sent on regular errands for sky-hooks, long waits and tartan paint)!

Congratulations to Nick Webb who was voted on as a probationer last night. Nick is available during the day for service as he works as a youth worker for the local Anglican churches (therefore does basically nothing but is in cose contact with the big man upstairs).

Well done……as I write he awaits his first Shout.

1 comment:

Nikos said...

Most chuffed to be pictured on your site so early in my lifeboat crew days! I feel honoured and proud! Erm...bring on the next shout?!