News & Events

The latest training, social and other events organised by the station and its supporters.

News Letter - 2008

We have had a very busy year for service calls, exercises and training events as well as a number of enjoyable social events.

The Duggie Rodbard has undertaken its first refit and whilst way was replaced by “D675” which was a gift to the RNLI by Harry Patch the WW1 hero. Mr Patch was delighted to know his boat had been placed at Walmer and whilst stationed with us it undertook a number of service calls with two lives being saved.

Service Calls: So far this year our two boats have undertaken 30 service calls, 14 more than last year. The Duggie Rodbard undertook 13 service calls, the Donald McLauchlan launched on service 13times and relief D675 Harry and Doris launched 4 times while on relief duty.

Training: I am pleased to inform you that we have recruited Victoria Brophy as our training co –coordinator. Vic kindly offered to take on this role. Vic ensures all training requirements are considered for each crewmember before exercises are undertaken, and links in with the training Inspector, Helmsmen, crew and operational management team.

Throughout the year the crew have undertaken an impressive 67 exercises, 7 inspectors exercises and 2 exercises with the helicopter, along with 13 PR launches, demonstrating the continued high level of commitment shown by the crew, shore helpers and tractor drivers .

Part of the role of a helmsmen is to undertake training for the crew and organise training exercises both on land and sea, these have included a number of enjoyable and testing activities that have pushed the crew and enabled them to develop and demonstrate their seamanship skills.

This year Justin and James Salmon have completed their Atlantic course; Jim and Colin completed their “D” Class in April, with Martyn completing his in June. Adam undertook his Atlantic Helmsmen course this December. All worked extremely hard and deserve to pass theses intensive training courses, which are nationally recognised, both within and outside the RNLI.

During February and March 9 crew undertook their VHF radio course, this was for 3 nights a week over two weeks, so a big commitment by all. In May and June we practised capsize procedures using the training capsize “D” class, enabling the crew to practise the technical skills needed to right the boat and proceed safely to shore.

In May Allen Head successfully passed out James Evans our Deputy Divisional Inspector. Since May James has undertaken a number of service calls as Helm and these have all be completed to a high standard.

Other training included a training night with the local sailing club and exercises with our flank stations (Dover and Ramsgate).

New crewmembers: This year Dan Sinclair joined the station and is now undertaking his probationary year. Sadly Chris Chives left the station due to his re location to and Sean Carter left his ministry at Walmer to rejoin the Royal Navy as a Naval Chaplin. We wish them all well.

Long Service Badges: Both Andrew Coe and Chris Brophy have completed 20 years service at Walmer. This is a great achievement; both are life long friends, spending their childhood working on the beach as beach boys bringing in the local fishing boats, and then joining the station as shore helpers before becoming crew. Andrew became a Helmsmen and Chris the stations tractor mechanic, tractor driver and shore crew. We will present them with their badges and certificates in January.

Web site: This year we have launched our RNLI web page. Dave Mitchell has worked extremely hard setting this up and keeping it up to date to ensure the most recent rescues are noted and interesting events recorded for our readers to view. As part of this we are going to have regular updates on Dan’s probationary year showing his training and experiences in his first year at Walmer, which we hope will be of interest to people logging on to the site, especially those who do this on a regular basis. We will also do a similar thing for crewmembers that attend training courses at Poole, so they can share their experiences with people who log on to the site.

Social & PR events: As always the crew have had no trouble in enjoying themselves during the year, fully participating in the annual raft race, beach BBQ and rounders on the green. Steve won the fishing competition and Sam and Andy M won the quiz night.

Although there were no weddings this year, we did hear the patter of tiny feet with the safe arrival of a beautiful daughter to Sam one of our crewmembers and his wife Donna.

This year Sir Jock Salter Chairman of the RNLI visited the station, he showed a real interest in both boats, our training programme and was delighted that Walmer has encouraged young people to join the crew through various originations including the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme. His successor is Lord Boyce, who informally pops in to the station with his family when he is staying at the Castle.

The RNLI has introduced “Pledger days”, for new donors we were asked to host one of the first events in the South East. The donors really enjoyed their day with us, asked lots of questions and witnessed a display by both of our boats. Feedback from the pledger team stated the group were very impressed and thoroughly enjoyed their day with us at Walmer.

We had another successful Open day, which ran along side the annual church fete, hopefully we will do this again next year and possibly include the local Fire Brigade, who undertook a similar PR event on the boathouse car park this year.

Once again I hope this newsletter has been of interest to you and on behalf of everyone at Walmer thank you for your continued support and may I wish you a Happy Christmas and safe New Year.

Kind regards

Denis Brophy
Lifeboat Operations Manager Walmer


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