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Old 19 October 2006, 14:23   #161
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I've just read this entire thread in 1 sitting.... quite a marathon!

I am a coxswain at Portishead - an independent boat. Below are a few (more) thoughts and comments for the melting pot.

1) We are an independent lifeboat. The Portishead Lifeboat Trust in it's present form has been running for 10 years. We have had discussions with the RNLI anout being adopted, but they do not seem to feel that there is the need for an RNLI boat in Portishead. The nearest RNLI boat is based in Weston Super mare.

2) Since 1996, Portishead lifeboat has been called out 198 times, and saved 255 lives. That is how the RNLI present their stats, but we have actually SAVED the lives of 7 people, and assisted a further 248 people. Which is to say that 7 lives would have been lost had Portishead Lifeboat not been in existance.

3) We aim to train to standards equal to or higher than that of the RNLI. We receive support in the form of advice from the RNLI, but no funding. We train in-house, but use a number of sub-contractors for evaluation and specialist training. This ensures that our training staff are bringing people up to an acceptable standard.

4) I support the RNLI. When I'm on south coast boating, I always make sure I put a few quid in the tin at the bar. BUT.... If I know the local boat is as Independent, I make sure that I support the Independent.

5) I get very p****d off when the RNLI come can rattling in Portishead. All they are actually doing is taking "lifeboat money" away from ourselves. I have even heard an RNLI fundraiser telling someone making a donation that the money was "for the Portishead boat". Both were duly educated!

So... We provide a valuable service that the RNLI don't see necessary (ask the 7 people we saved & their families if they agree?!?). We know we are the underdogs, so we train even harder to make sure we are as good. We realise the RNLI need funding, so we support them. But we have to fight damn hard for every penny we raise, and often struggle to make sure that people know we are independent and not RNLI.

For more info on Independent boats, have a look at: http://www.independent-lifeboats.org.uk/

Incedentally, there are people talking about getting together an assosciation of Independents, but it's not easy!
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Old 19 October 2006, 14:58   #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by portishead_adam View Post
I've just read this entire thread in 1 sitting
That alone deserves an award for great valour and resilience

(Keep up the great work)

Kathleen & Paul
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Old 21 October 2006, 18:34   #163
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Originally Posted by simonnud View Post
I do support the independents but they can't do this http://www.mcga.gov.uk/c4mca/mcga-ne...0C&m=10&y=2006
Indeed, the independants cant do that, but neither can the RNLI! You appear to be getting the RNLI and MCA confused. The RNLI do not operate helicopters, the MCA do and in many circumstances they do so along side the RNLI and Indie boats

I am a member of a recently formed independant boat and would never suggest the that funds should be diverted from the RNLI, they provide a fantastic service and have done for a very long time.

Their headquarters in poole, yes it is massive and does have an awfull lot of facilities but what do you expect from an organisation that operates around 200 ILBs and ALBs which are on call 24/7.

Our boat was formed because it was agreed that there was a need for the coverage of and inshore boat. The bay we operate from has a huge ammount of recreational sailing and other boating. The reason that the gap was "perceived" was that we are on the operational boundaries of three RNLI boats (2 Trents and one Atlantic 75) unfortunately, including call out, it can be up to 2hours before these boats can reach us and the trents are only effective at highwater. I am in no way trying to be derogatory to the RNLI i am merely stating facts. In our case much of the sailing is in dingies and a dingy sailer is unlikely to last 2 hours whilst waiting for the life boat and because of this, in the past many rescues were carried out in an ad-hoc way by local boaters and the need was felt to formalise these rescues.

We have the support of the local RNLI boats who hav expressed an interest in doing some joint exercises. One of the stations wanted to bring their trent to our launch but uinfortunately the tide was out and on top of that our chairman is a life governor of the RNLI and president of the local fundraising branch

Yes , we are amatuers, but we have wealth of knowledge and experience within our crew with many of the crew having been profesional coxwains of RIBs. We aim to at the minimum, meet the standards of the RNLI however it has always been our hope that we can go on to increase our training beyond thet scopethat is covered by the RNLI
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Old 22 October 2006, 10:57   #164
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i also am a crew member on board the Hornsea Inshore Rescue Boat, we base our standards on the RNLI, we have the same kit as they do, we respond to the same emergencies as they do, the only difference being we are not nationally funded. the nearest RNLI lifeboat stations are a minimum of 20 to 30 mins from hornsea, bridlington with a mersey class and a D class and then the other side of hornsea is withernsea with their D class. we have responed to many joint call outs with the RNLI and have worked in harmony with no disputes.

the only thing that really got my back up one was that i was a a mates house when i we had a RNLI money collector knock on the door and ask for a donation, how far is the nearest RNLI station, very far indeed, im not knocking the public but when people see a lifeboat they dont know any different between a independant and RNLI they just see a rescue boat. i had someone come up to me once and told me they put 5 into the RNLI pot in town, i told him it was no good cause we wouldnt see any of that were independants.

we are all equal in our efforts to save lifes and we all strive to reach the RNLI standards that are set. we just dont have the bank balance to keep up. i agree with some of the other posts on here, dont completely stop funding the RNLI but fund your own local lifeboat not just the nearest tub you can find (will probably be RNLI anyway) but fund you local lifeboat and help keep the ones that will help you in a time of need (hopefully you wont need it).
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Old 22 October 2006, 12:09   #165
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Count your luck stars

All the posts are of great interest and all have valid points. The bottom line IMHO is that both RNLI and independants deserve financial support. Britian is traditionally a seafaring nation and therefore the general public are accustomed to supporting the RNLI. Most of them are probably not aware of the independants and therefore it should be beholden on the users of local waters to support the independants also. Both do an outstanding job.
Just as an aside. My friend in Mexico was out in his 28ft. fishing boat a few months ago and his diesel engine failed 20 miles offshore. He put in a vhf call to his home marina who notified the local Mexican Navy based at the same Marina. The local Navy consists of an open alluminium panga with a single outboard, 5 guys, and No electronics ( not even vhf.) They went out, took 2 hours to find him and 4 hours to tow him back. They would not accept any tip or anything ( remember this is part of the culture in Mexico) Needless, to say they now get a cold six pack of Coke everytime he goes past their slip. Hence the above title.
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Old 13 December 2006, 15:02   #166
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I do support the independents but they can't do this http://www.mcga.gov.uk/c4mca/mcg

At the risk of reopening a can of worms, may I add my penithworth to a few comments made. Thoroughly enjoyed reading all the comments, stumbled across them whilst searching the net. Obviously one or two ill-informed authors regarding the idependant organisations, 'professional V amateur'.Assuming the jist of the above link is refering to the seamanship displayed by the RNLI crew then I feel the following is worthy of note. As dusk approached on a July evening the Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service were tasked along with India Juliet to a reported collision between two speedboats. On arrival it was obvious that the collision had occured at some considerable speed causing serious life threatening injuries to two of the occupants. Our paramedic quickly assessed their condition while I carried out a formation winch with IJ to transfer their winchman/paramedic. Our second craft arrived with a second paramedic. All three paramedics along with two lifeboat crew worked on the 2 casualties in extremely cramped conditions to stabilise their medical conditions. Eventually the first casualty was stable enough to transfer to the helo. As their was no wind that night a hi-line transfer was not possible. The pilot of Rescue IJ requested a formation transfer at about 18knots, this was carried out after dusk with very little light. The first casualty was then taken to the helicopter landing site at Portsmouth. The paramedics continued to stabilise the condition of the second casualty and made her ready for transfer to the helicopter. By the time IJ returned there was little if any light remaining (where's the moon when you want it), again the pilot requested a formation transfer. As IJ headed on her chosen course at about 18 knots I formatted under the helo, it was difficult to get a point of reference at first, the strobes were very bright but I picked my point of reference and we quicky and successfully carried out the transfer in what can only be described as 'total darkness'.
The chief pilot commended us on our seamanship, he was unaware of any other occasion when a RIB had undertaken a 'live' formation winching at night.
I have carried out numerous formation winches with the helicopter since that night, all during daylight and non have made my arse twitch as much !!!!!!.By the way my crew and I received a Commonwealth Commendation from the Royal Lifesaving Society for our activities.

I've been involved with the service for 29 years now and also enjoyed 22 years in the Royal Navy. Its been a joy to read the comments and look forward to issues raised in the future.
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Old 13 December 2006, 15:10   #167
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Nice one

Kathleen & Paul
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Old 29 December 2006, 18:03   #168
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Gosport Rescue Annual Report

Dear All,

As previously mention this thread has been going on for a while, and i must say some pretty impressive views!!, In short we are all here to do a job wether a national or local organisation, there are pro's and con's for each, but we are all volunteers with one common aim - helping those in distress.

I'm proud to be involved with one of the independants and use my proffessional skills to benefit those in distress - i won't repeat the story mikeallen has posted as i was there, as one of the paramedics who worked on the casualties that night, but what i will say is i was proud of the voluntary crews that with myself and the other paramedics on a 14ft floating platform with two critically injured patients, from passing medical information and terminology back over the VHF to coastguard to grabbing the right bit of kit when it was asked for made the paramedics work easier, without this professionalism and dedication to learning a little about my tools of the trade by the crews my job would have been harder and the casualties evacuation to hospital prolonged.

I guess my point is I use my proffesional skills, but my colleagues are not always from my proffession they are volunteers that become my assistants, much like an ambulance technician would be if i were at work.

Anyway enough of that for now.

If you are interested the Gosport and Fareham inshore Rescue Service Annual Report 2006 has just been completed and can be downloaded from www.gafirs.org.uk - the file is pdf (Tried to upload it here but its a bit to big :-) )

Happy New Year to all
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Old 10 September 2007, 12:08   #169
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Support the RNLI and Independent Lifeboats

I am a crew member of Loughor Independent lifeboat in South Wales and believe me as far as our crew are concerned there is no "them and us argument" with the RNLI stations in our area. At the end of the day we do the same job, we work together on exercises and on "shouts". We use the same crew equipment, our standards are that of the RNLI and we have been praised by RNLI officials who have attended our station regarding our equipment, training and our profesionalism to the job. Yes funding is tight for all Independent Lifeboat Station's around the country, and we cant go out and buy kit un-nessesarly, but whenever the call comes in, we will be ready and will always be, THis topic should be called "PLEASE SUPPORT RNLI CREWS AND INDEPENDENT CREWS". however if people want to look at Independent Lifeboats in more detail, please look at the website, www.independent-lifeboats.org.uk,
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Old 11 September 2007, 07:31   #170
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The RNLI still needs money and is legally obliged to provide cover upto 50miles offshore with 2hrs.
The Atlantic 75 isn't a Halmatic Hull it was designed ny the RNLI and our boat was built by Souters on the IOW, the tubes are Avon.
The 21's were Halmatic hulls.
Where I work we have a safety award scheme and I've nominated the local Rescue boat for the money as I feel they need it more than the RNLI station I'm on.
We are all amateurs even the ALB crews. I would say our training is more thorough than Inde stations but then some RNLI crew have limitations.
The land that the Lifeboat College is on was an old chemical works and the other half was donated by Sunseeker.
By building the college the RNLI is saving 1million a year just on accomadation costs alone. The Inshore Lifeboat Centre at Cowes had to use local pubs and B&B's.
In 13 years the college will have paid for itself just through this saving alone.
Crews from all over the world come to use the facilities at Poole which generates additional income.
If all the rooms aren't full then the public can stay making full use of the college.
I admit money will be wasted but I don't feel it was on the College.
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