PREPARATIONS for the arrival of the new Leverburgh Lifeboat are progressing well.
A crew pool of 18 people has been meeting informally in Leverburgh Hall for the past couple of months for “pre-training preparation” to share the range of skills already present within the group, but which will be required of all crew members.
Subjects have included rope-work, navigation, etc. and they have also touched on the basics of Radio-communication.
The crew have received their kit, and will receive their lifejackets soon. In addition to this, the crew have gained initial experience by spending some time at sea in the Stornoway lifeboat.
These outings have given them a chance to experience a taste of the reality of lifeboat work.
Branch Chairman, Neil Campbell said: “On behalf of the Leverburgh Lifeboat branch and crew, I would like to express my thanks to the Coxswain and crew of Stornoway Lifeboat for this invaluable opportunity, and the time they have contributed to this element of the crew’s training.
Given that our Lifeboat is yet to arrive, the crew have enjoyed the opportunity to experience some of the tasks that will be demanded of them when our own boat arrives in May.”
Three of the crew whose roles will include mechanical duties have completed their mechanics’ training in Girvan, and it is expected that another two will do the same at the end of the month.
Intensive courses on Casualty Care have also been undertaken in Leverburgh.
Looking ahead, crew members are making ready to head for the RNLI training college in Poole. The first group will depart in mid-April.
There, they will have the use of the RNLI’s state of the art facilities, which will include use of the survival centre which hosts the combined first aid, sea survival and firefighting course.
This course is not for the faint-hearted; complete darkness, thunder, lightning, and helicopter recovery can all be simulated to real effect.
Once all the crew have completed their training the RNLI will then select three coxswains and three mechanics.
Meanwhile, groundworks have commenced on the site for the new Lifeboat Station, which is due to be erected within a month’s time.
Leverburgh Lifeboat, an all-weather ‘Mersey’ class boat, is expected to arrive on the 2nd of May, when it is hoped to hold an open day to mark the event. The boat will begin service on Friday 11th. May.