Tuesday, 8 July 2008

ILB introductory course

One of the first courses any new crew member will take part in is the Introductory course for ILB crew at Poole. It lasts a week and covers all of the basics such as how to perform each of the expected tasks, how to handle the boat and how to keep yourself safe.Nick went on his course last week and one of the first things he found himself doing as swimming in the 'environmental pool' along with a capsized lifeboat.

One of the great things about a residential course as a crewmember is that it allows a first glimpse at the wider RNLI family. Suddenly you realise that Swanage is not the centre of the RNLI world and how we do things so not the only way!

Part of the capsize drill involves swimming under the capsized boat. Often this can be a challenging ordeal for new crew.

The skill in handling a lifeboat underway is not so much how to drive the thing through waves at high speed, rather, it is how to drive it safely at slow speed while close to other vessels. This is taught well.

New crew also learn how to tow other vessels. Often these are appreciably larger than the vessel doing the towing.

Of course the time spent in the bar is not time wasted...it forms an essential part of the bonding experience and caters for different leaning styles.

It's also fun to see so many lifeboats out on the water at any one time.

So Nick, you've passed and are surely wiser and perhaps more importantly, more useful to us as a result. Well done!

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