Welcome to the crew volunteering section of our website. Here you'll find information that we hope will help you make an informed decision about whether you want to apply to join the crew.
Please select from the links below to find out more ...
It takes a special kind of person to cope with the risks. Currently there are over 25 volunteer crew members (including trainees), one full-time mechanic and one night watchman – our handsome gnome that keeps an eye on both lifeboats in all weathers. The volunteers come from all walks of life: many of the crew have connections with the sea through their regular jobs but it's not a prerequisite. All of them are, however, committed to providing the local community with a high quality rescue service on the water – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The station also has a volunteer lifeboat operations manager (LOM), who is in charge of deciding whether to launch the lifeboats, and there are four volunteer deputy launching authorities (DLAs). There is also a volunteer lifeboat press officer and lifeboat visits officer.
Everybody involved at the station has an important part to play. You need to have a real commitment to the job and you also have to be prepared for a lot of training and unsociable hours, so your family needs to be very understanding. It also takes an understanding employer to let you leave your job at a moment's notice so you will need to make sure your employer is happy for to drop everything as soon as the pager goes off.
All the lifeboat crew and LOM and DLAs carry a pager but you never know when the pager is going to go off and interrupt your everyday life.
Crew members also need good personal skills. This means you need to:
'Just by being on the boat you get an idea of the team spirit and camaraderie the crews build up. There's also the exhilaration of being out at sea and the incalculable feeling of helping to save lives.'
Being part of Poole lifeboat crew is a major commitment, which could ultimately include risking your life. Your commitment involves attending weekly meetings, undertaking regular training programmes as well as being involved with the rescues. Alongside this you may also be asked to help show visitors around the station, help with local fundraising, organise and help run the station's open day, and you may even be involved in some filming and other media requests (although there are usually other crew members who are first in the queue to be famous!).
Initially there is a 4-month shorebased training period as part of a 12-month probationary period when regular training programmes account for much of the time. This training includes boathandling, radio communications, first aid, navigation, radar training and getting to know and work with the crew.
'It's good to have a trial period. You can review your commitment to the station and we'll know by then whether you'll stick to the job.'
When you go out on the lifeboats you will work with the coxswain or helmsman and carry out duties to operate the lifeboat during rescues and also ensure the safety of the people that have been rescued.
The RNLI and Poole Lifeboat Station provide first-class training and equipment, guidance and support. For you it's an opportunity to achieve, to save lives, and a chance to be part of our world-class rescue service locally at Poole. We can offer you one of the most exciting and fulfilling voluntary jobs available but in return we will expect you to commit to the necessary training and give us your time.
You will also get:
So is it worth it?
If you are still interested in becoming a crew member at Poole Lifeboat Station please take a little more time to look through the following list of questions to see if you have what it takes:
'When you join the lifeboat service, you join because you want to. Once you are a lifeboat crew member, you are a lifeboat crew member 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. That's part of the service and this is what we do. When it's called for, we do it.'
If you have any questions about joining the crew or require any further information, then please contact:
Rod Brown, Lifeboat Operations Manager
Poole Lifeboat Station
Telephone: 01202 665607
If you think you have what it takes to be a crew member at Poole Lifeboat Station, then please write to the Lifeboat Operations Manager, Rod Brown, to let him know why you are interested and provide the following information:
You can either email, push the letter through the letterbox at Poole Lifeboat Station or post it to Poole Lifeboat Station at the address given above.