Speaker meeting 27th April 2015

The members of the Rotary Club of Church Wilne welcomed Dr. Geoff Cutts to their meeting at the Royal Oak in Ockbrook on Monday 27th April and were given an informative insight into the everyday workings of the RNLI.

Geoff started by saying the RNLI is the charity that saves lives with a vision to end preventable loss of life at sea. The RNLI are independent of the Government and rely totally on donations with 65% being from legacies, 28% in donations and the remainder from their merchandising.

They are run separately from the Coastguards and are often referred to as the "4th Emergency Service"   The very first lifeboat was in 1790 with Whitby being crewed around 1861, wearing lifejackets, they saved the first life at sea.   Dunkirk saw 31 lifeboats assist with the evacuation of our troops.

The first inshore lifeboat was in action in 1963 and today there are 23 launches of all boats every day.   Currently there are 237 stations within the UK and the Irish Republic and they have a total of 346 operational boats.   In 2004 Poole in Dorset became the Headquarters of the organisation and is currently the busiest coastal station with 121 launches in 2014. They also have 4 Hovercrafts in service being at Morecambe, Southend, Hunstanton and New Brighton which are all coastal areas with vast amounts of beach which can be most dangerous with fast flowing incoming tides.  
There are now 4 inland stations including one at Loch Ness. Many of our coastal lifeguards are part of the RNLI and are often manned by University students.

The RNLI also cover 25 miles of the River Thames with 4 stations and has a full time manned station with the volunteers living there 12 hours at a time.  95% of their call outs are reached within 15 minutes and at the recent University Boat Race 65 rescues on the Thames were completed.

Geoff gave the members many of the costs required which included annual running costs, capitol spend and the number of volunteers and full time paid employees.   The cost per day to keep the RNLI afloat being £405k

All lifeboats have a resident mechanic and 25% of the crew are female and above storm force 9, a severe gale, it is up to the Captain whether the go to sea.

Every week the RNLI give talks to around 7,000 school children and if you wish to know more about this contact Dr Geoff Cutts via email:   geoffcutts@aol.com

President Geoff Smith gave the club's vote of thanks and he spoke about his time when off the Isles of Scilly in force 9 he witnessed them saving one of his best friends.

For more information on Rotary and our speaker evenings, please contact Rotarian John Astell at: rccw1220@gmail.com

For more information on the Rotary Club of Church Wilne visit the web site:   churchwilnerotary.org.uk

Ray Terry

20th April 2015


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