RNLI 29th March 2023 led by Dave Bramley
On a wet March morning we gathered on Brockenhurst Station platform to set off for the RNLI College in Poole. The walk from the station to the college is very short. We were split into two groups for the tour, We learned the history of the RNLI which celebrates its 200 birthday net year. It has fiercely protected its charitable status raising funds to stay focussed on saving lives and independant of outside influences.
We watched some crews returning from a training exercise. We saw some videos of their efforts to help international situations such as Bangladesh and how they make sure their equipment is recycled and passed onto needy causes.
The highlight of the trip was a spell in a simulator of a lifeboat going to an emergency. The sea conditions were moved from force 3 to force 10 to show the increased difficulty of effecting a rescue when the sea conditions are bad.
We also went into their pool area which is 25 metres by 12metres where they simulate rescues in real lifeboats and practice evacuations from the lifeboat. They also practice rolling the lifeboats and refloating them. They are able to create rough conditions with wavemakers and wind generators. They can create complete darkness to practice recoveries in the dark. Finally we were shown a number of engines in the workshops.
These engines were up to over 1000 hp and specially created for the RNLI by major diesel engine manufacturers. They are there for mechanics to be trained how to service and fix them.
The RNLI operation costs £180,000,000 a year to run. It appears to be a well organised and astute operation. The staff show real pride in the role of the RNLI and how it operates.
Getting the background
Returning from training
The training pool
John Gribble driving the Simulator
The Engine room