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Cash boost for RNLI training

PUBLISHED: 11:00 21 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:21 06 July 2010

Volunteer lifeboat crews at four stations around the region's coastline are to receive regular training thanks to a major cash boost.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) yesterday announced a partnership that will secure £300,000 of funding for the life-saving charity.

Volunteer lifeboat crews at four stations around the region's coastline are to receive regular training thanks to a major cash boost.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) yesterday announced a partnership that will secure £300,000 of funding for the life-saving charity.

The funds will support training of the RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew members at lifeboat stations at Lowestoft, Southwold, Aldeburgh and Harwich over the next three years.

SSE is one of the companies developing the Greater Gabbard wind farm about 15 miles off the Suffolk coast which when completed will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world.

SSE chief executive Ian Marchant announced the partnership during a visit to the RNLI Lowestoft lifeboat station.

He said: “SSE is developing a number of large-scale wind farms off the UK coast and in common with our onshore wind farms we look for appropriate ways to bring benefit to the communities that host them.

“Clearly, there is no offshore community in the conventional sense of the word, but I'm sure everyone would agree that all sea-farers constitute a community in their own right. For this reason we looked to partner with an organisation that is universally appreciated by offshore workers, fishermen, merchant seamen, recreational sailors and swimmers - the RNLI.

“I am impressed by the commitment the RNLI has to providing world-class training for its volunteer lifeboat crew members and I am personally delighted that we are able to help support this.”

David Brann, the RNLI's fundraising and communications director, showed Mr Marchant the facilities at Lowestoft lifeboat station and introduced him to some of the volunteers.

Mr Brann said: “We're delighted that SSE recognises the full value of the training we provide. The RNLI is at the heart of the community and is very appreciative of the support SSE will provide for its life-saving work over the next three years. The RNLI is excited at the prospect of working with SSE and believes there is scope for the partnership to develop in the future.”

He added: “Only one in 10 RNLI volunteers has a professional maritime occupation and regular crew training is vital, allowing them to go to sea and save lives. It costs over £1,200 a year to train each crew member and the RNLI relies on support from organisations such as SSE and members of the public to help it meet training costs.”

Lowestoft coxswain John Fox said: “We are delighted to receive such a generous amount of money from the energy company. It is vital that all crew members are trained to the highest possible standard and this donation will ensure that we can keep on doing that.”


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