Crew 2011

The Crew

Lifeboat crews are mostly volunteers, who come from all walks of life, and give up their time and comfort to carry out rescues and save lives at sea on the lifeboats. They respond at a moment's notice, no matter where they are or what they are doing when the pager goes off. Crews are regularly called away from their families, their beds and their work, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Often they’ll leave a place of comfort to brave the cold and wet in situations that test their skill, strength and courage. Their lifesaving work is essential, often difficult and sometimes dangerous.

It currently costs £1,266 to train and £909 to kit each RNLI crew member, each year.

Inshore Lifeboat Crew Kit

Every RNLI lifeboat volunteer onboard an inshore lifeboat must wear the following PPE equipment to ensure that they are kept safe and warm during any training or rescue mission. It currently costs £1,266 to train and £909 to kit each RNLI crew member, each year.
Each piece of equipment is explained in detail below:

The current drysuit has the following features:

Boots: The yellow boots include steel toe caps.
Legs: The knee areas are padded. There is also a location panel for a writing pad built in to the right knee area of the suit.
Note: A section of the knee padding fills with water offering additional impact protection. This drains away when the wearer stands vertically.
Waist: There are braces fitted inside the suit at waist height. This is to prevent the arms of the suit having to be secured around the waist.
Seals: The neck and cuff seals can be replaced in the event of wear or damage.
Zip: A heavy duty, watertight zip is fitted.

They have a manually operated self-righting mechanism and are capable of being beached in an emergency without sustaining damage to engines or steering gear.

Thermal Undersuit (Woolly Bear)
woolly BearWolly Bear Detail
The thermal suit works by trapping and circulating air between the fine fibres on the inside of the suit. Any additional clothing worn inside the suit should comprise several layers of thin items, preferably of man made fibres. Thick garments worn inside the suit would flatten the fine fibres and prevent air from being trapped.

Lifejacket (Crewsaver)
LifejacketLifejacket Detail
This jacket is based around a full yachtsman harness and comprises of:

a: A zip fastener at the front of the jacket, a waist band secured via a buckle and thigh straps secured with plastic male and female clips.
b: A lifting strop is attached to the waist band and held in position with Velcro.
c: Reflective strips around the chest that extend up to the shoulders and around the back of the head when the jacket is inflated.
d: A yacht harness attached to a steel ‘D’ ring.
e: The inherent buoyancy of the jacket comprises three compartments of foam cells which provide 85 Newtons of buoyancy.
f: A manually operated gas cylinder inflates a single stole. When fully inflated the jacket provides 224 Newtons of buoyancy.
g: An oral top up facility is provided on the top left hand side.
h: A battery operated light which is activated by a toggle is fitted to the left hand side. (Note: The battery lasts for approximately 8 hours with continuous use)
i: A whistle is provided in a pouch on the right hand stole. The pouch also contains a rope buddy line.
j: A personal flare pouch (one of two) with velcro cover. Contains a string flare attachment line with rubber ‘O’ ring.

Safety Helmet (Gecko)
The shape of the helmet is designed such that it fits comfortably when wearing a lifejacket. When worn correctly the forehead part of the helmet should be positioned approximately an inch above the eyebrows.
The shell must be adjusted to the head size of each individual wearer. A visor is attached to the helmet on studs and can be pivoted up or down as required. A Velcro strip on top of the helmet is to enable a lifejacket light to be attached.

The Neoprene gloves offer a degree of warmth and protection whilst at sea.