Two Ilfracombe RNLI volunteers have undergone a vital part of their lifeboat crew training.

Ilfracombe RNLI volunteer and trainee crew member Brendan Ashford at Poole for sea survival training. Picture: RNLI/Jennifer CloughIlfracombe RNLI volunteer and trainee crew member Brendan Ashford at Poole for sea survival training. Picture: RNLI/Jennifer Clough

Brendan Ashford and Sam Burbidge from Ilfracombe RNLI travelled to the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, to complete the charity’s Crew Emergency Procedures course, which is funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

Brendan, who works as a CAD draftsman, joined the crew in 2016. He is volunteer shore crew at the lifeboat station, and is currently training to be a crew member on the station’s inshore lifeboat.

The course sees crew being trained in a variety of subjects such as how to ‘abandon ship’ with a four-metre jump into water, team survival swimming, coping in a life raft in simulated darkness, how to right a capsized inshore lifeboat, and the importance of lifejackets.

It also covers emergency fire theory such as how to deal with fires aboard lifeboats, and practical sessions on the correct use of flares, fire extinguishers and throw bags.

Brendan said: “This training course has been fantastic, especially the sea survival session in the training pool.”

Training took place in the Sea Survival Centre at the charity’s college, which includes a 25m wave-generating survival tank, allowing trainees to experience first-hand some of the scenarios they may encounter at sea should they ever need to abandon their lifeboat.

The training was funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a charitable foundation that helps to protect life and property by supporting engineering-related education, public engagement and the application of research.

The Foundation is committed to funding the RNLI’s Crew Emergency Procedures course for a second five-year period until December 2020.

The RNLI trainess prepare for a four metre jump into water as part of their sea survival training. Picture: RNLI/Jennifer CloughThe RNLI trainess prepare for a four metre jump into water as part of their sea survival training. Picture: RNLI/Jennifer Clough

This additional funding of £1.06n will bring their total support for RNLI crew training to just over £2.46m.