Good results for lifeboat

THE HIGH level of training undertaken by Sidmouth Lifeboat crew is reflected in their results.

THE HIGH level of training undertaken by Sidmouth Lifeboat crew is reflected in their results.Phil Shepperd, 39, has just qualified as a helmsman. A freelance coastal engineer, he attended the course at the RNLI facility in Poole, gaining top marks after more than two years of training.As training officer for Sidmouth Lifeboat, he ensures the nine sea-going crew and shore crew are up to date with their qualifications."Last year we were getting short of people to go to sea on the boat but we have just trained four to be qualified."Two joined as trainees and it takes 18 months to get to be a member of crew," said Mr Shepperd, who has been with the independent lifeboat crew for six years.There are now five trainees keen to work their way up to crewmen.The cost of training is borne by Sidmouth Lifeboat, which at its annual meeting last month reported spending £48,101 on the boat and crew out of the total annual expenditure of £101,063.Courses included ones on using a defibrillator, radar, first aid, sea survival and VHF radio.Company secretary Philip Churchill reported that crew rescued 25 people in 21 callouts in 2007, which ranged from helping police search for missing people to assisting in the rescue of some children in difficulty on the rock islands.He said: "The object of the charity is the preservation of life and the improvement in the standard of inshore sea and coastline safety."To this end, it is necessary to maintain the boathouse and all equipment in it, to recruit and train crew, to raise funds to support this effort and to provide support staff for maintenance, administrative and fundraising activities.

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