RNLI: We go for rescue


A lifeboat rescue exercise has been carried out in Barry Island. It is conducted by RNLI, a charity that relies on volunteers and supporters to run lifesaving service at sea.

According to RNLI, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, it is a charity that has existed for 195 years and solely funded by donations.

RNLI Flag; Photo: Sodacan [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Martin Bowmer is the coxswain of the RNLI Barry Dock lifeboat. He has been working with RNLI for nearly 20 years. Before he became the coxswain in Barry, he worked as a volunteer for 17 years.

According to Martin, he says this job is about giving something back. It is also about being part of the local community.

He adds “If you do get the opportunity to save somebody’s life, then you can’t really put that into words.”

Martin Bowmer; Photo: CNP

Currently, there are 45 thousand volunteers serving at RNLI and a number of them have maritime backgrounds. For those who are volunteer lifeboat crews, they provide all-day rescue service in the UK and Ireland.

According to the statistics provided by RNLI, their crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,200 lives since 1824. On a given year, more than 8 thousand lifeboats launch, and more than thousands of people are aided by RNLI lifeguards.

However, what they do are more than a rescue service. They also influence, supervise and educate people.

As for the event in Barry, Martin says it is all about providing education to the public. They want to educate people about the dangers and how to enjoy themselves safely when they join the coast.

The rescue exercise which has been demonstrated by the RNLI aims to show some of their capability but also to help demonstrate how the different rescue service operates together in a team to save a stricken individual.

RNLI Lifeboat Rescue; Photo: MikeMcC

By the year of 2024, which is the 200 years anniversary of RNLI, Martin says they hope half of the number of people are drowning in the coast, so they can send a great message to the UK public that they have helped to reduce people who drown on the coast every year.

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