Thursday 21 September 2017 07:56:36 AM

Portaferry RNLI Calls for New Volunteer Crew Members
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PORTAFERRY RNLI is looking for new volunteer crew members to join its search and rescue service in County Down.

The station currently has seventeen lifeboat and two shore crew to cover its inshore service on Strangford Lough but is now calling on new volunteers to come forward and find out how they can get involved in helping the charity continue to save lives at sea. The station will be hosting two open days early next month for all interested candidates to learn more.

Portaferry RNLI  is calling for new crew members.

Portaferry RNLI is calling for new crew members.

The Portaferry RNLI was established in 1980 due to the increase in pleasure boating activity in the approaches to Strangford Lough. In 2009, a new station Atlantic 85 lifeboat was brought into service and a new B class boathouse was constructed for the larger 85.

Last year, the lifeboat, the Blue Peter V, launched 23 times, bringing 16 people to safety. Eleven of those services were in the dark.

Now, Brian Bailie, Portaferry RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager is calling on any volunteers who may be interested to come along to the station on one of its open days and find out more. He said: ‘We are looking for anyone aged seventeen years and over who is willing to offer some of their free time to join what I believe to be one of the most exhilarating and rewarding voluntary services that is out there.

“Every volunteer receives first class training from the RNLI and learns new skills which can benefit them in many walks of life. Lifeboat crew members need to have a reasonable level of fitness, have good eyesight and not be colour blind. Anyone who would like to volunteer but feels they would not meet the requirements for lifeboat crew should in no way be put off, as shore crew also play an essential role in the launch and recovery of the lifeboat when it goes on service”.

For anyone who feels they have the time and commitment to volunteer for the charity which is on call 24-hours a day and 365 days a year, is asked to email Brian at  [email protected]

Alternatively, prospective volunteers can come along to the station’s open days from 7-9pm on Tuesday 7 May or from 2-4pm on Saturday 11 May.