Three Skegness RNLI volunteers qualify as helms in command of inshore lifeboat

Eighteen months of rigorous training for three RNLI volunteers are being rewarded with the annoucement they can now take command on the Skegness Station’s D class inshore lifeboat.
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Ryan Speed, Curtis Redford and Billy Brookes have qualified as helms and will provide cover along the East Lincolnshire coastline.

Becoming a helm of an inshore lifeboat is no small feat and involves specialised command-focussed exercise and a final assessment by an external RNLI Assessor.

The trio have all made remarkable progress since joining the crew in 2019, 2019, and 2020, respectively. They started as Shore Crew members and then advanced to become crew members for the Shannon class lifeboat before most recently reaching the coveted position of Helm on the D class inshore lifeboat.

Ryan Speed, Curtis Redford and Billy Brookes on Skegness BeachRyan Speed, Curtis Redford and Billy Brookes on Skegness Beach
Ryan Speed, Curtis Redford and Billy Brookes on Skegness Beach

Ryan and Billy are further advancing as Trainee Navigators on the Shannon class all-weather lifeboat, while Curtis is in the process of becoming a recognised RNLI Paramedic, lending his expertise from his role as a Paramedic with the East Midlands Ambulance Service.

Expressing their gratitude for the training they received, Ryan, Billy, and Curtis collectively said: 'We want to extend our thanks to the station and our fellow Helms for the support and guidance throughout our training journey.

'We are proud to reach this milestone and eagerly anticipate putting our training into practice on exercises and service launches. The RNLI Assessor Trainers who guided us played a crucial role in our development, and we are immensely grateful to Craig, Lee, Joe, Ady, Gary and Anna for their time and expertise. Volunteering for this incredible charity is an honour, and we are thrilled that our hard work has paid off.'

Paul Simpson, the Lifeboat Operations Manager at Skegness RNLI, added: 'Becoming a Helm and commanding one of our lifeboats is no easy task. A successful pass-out is a testament to the many months of hard work and determination that has taken place. Ryan, Billy, and Curtis have demonstrated an amazing commitment to the RNLI's mission of saving lives at sea, and we are proud to have them as part of our dedicated team.'

The station would also like to thank RNLI Assessor Ady Barker for his time throughout the duration of the trio's training and final assessments.