< Edit: Split from the DON'T support the RNLI . . . thread about independent lifeboat organisations. JK >
There are some people out their who will call themselves a lifeboat, but these are not SAR capable, and are not declared facilities to the coastguard. An example of this is the Venturers in the solent.
you are correct, we (Venturers) are not a declared facility to HM Coastguard, the one simple reason beeing we have crews under the age of 18. however we are fully SAR trained and have good, well maintained boats and highly complex and well enforced training programs.
We do not, and never have called ourselves a lifeboat. Rescue boat yes, but never lifeboat.
Venturers are an "additional facility" and under Solas 5 we can offer out assistance to the coastguard, they can choose to accept or decline.
Alot of our work as a Search and Rescue unit is to do just that..Search....and Rescue, alot of this seasons (2007) 54 incidents we have come accross whislt of patrol.
hope this clears this up a bit
So not all Inde stations are declared, they have to be to a set standard and if they aren't then they can't be declared!
Some units may have other reasons they cant be declared, its not that they dont necasarily meet the standards, as i said above, we cant (be declared) as we have crews under 18 - however we are fully trained in search and rescue techniques and there is nothing to say that our training is any less profesional than other 'declared' units.
And yet they are just as capable - sometimes even more so. I read of a rescue in a boat mag where a yacht was in difficulties and the RNLI ILB was struggling - along came this dirty great Ocean Dynamics and saved the day!!!
From my searches in this forum i see you have a certain "love" for Ocean Dynamics. so you should they are lovely craft and our main 9.5 meter boat at the moment is a superb boat capable of dealing with the severest weather you can throw at it.
It is as you say " A dirty great ocean dynamics" - and i love her!
I am pleased you think that we are just as capable as 'Declared facilitites' , some people dont think teenagers have it in em to do rescue work, but i think Venturers says for it self we can, over 2007 we have carried out 54 rescue ops, and assisted 114 people.
This is teenagers doing this work, crews aged between 13-18.
as for the rescue mentioned in a yacht mag, not sure which one you are refering too (and even if it was our ocean dynamics) but am interested to know more.
On the subject of RNLI/Indies, the RNLI do a fantastic job and have done for many years, i am sure they will continue to strive in excelent training and boats for many years to come,
Independent units do struggle for cash, cant just pick a new lifeboat of the shelf!
The RNLI have done fanatastic fund raising job, and have designed some fantastic boats, trained excelent crews and are (in my own opinion) the best lifeboat service in the World.
Yes they may seem to spend cash on strange things, and it can be fustrating to sit back and watch them splash out on everything when other indie units struggle for small cash.
But in short , UK has proberly the best and most impressive maritime rescue services in the World, i support and encourage funding for all of them, whether RNLI or INDIE.
i have always admired lifeboat crews, and always will, its why i joined Venturers, because i want to help make a difference, assist people when they find themselves in trouble and help people in thier most desperate hour of need, over the past 5 years Venturers has offered me fantastic training and i appreciate that, now i can make the difference i always wanted to make and will do long into the future.
Its one of the best things i ever did, i am sure any other rescue crews will tell you the same.
Some stations and services may be better of on cash, but they all exist to do the same thing, Save lives at Sea, and i dont think its 'fair' to say that any service dosn't deserve the money, I dont think money can be "better spent" its all just maybe spent in different ways, but i dont think ANY unit spends money needlessly.
If it helps save lives....then that money is needed.