What started out as a ‘pass out’ for a new helm quickly developed into a rescue tasking marking the first service call for Margate RNLI’s new inshore lifeboat.
As Margate’s lifeboat station has made the transition to operating its new B class inshore lifeboat (alongside the existing D class inshore lifeboat) long-serving crew member Keith Patrick has been training for the role of one of the station’s helms.
After several months of hard work, the lifeboat set out yesterday evening ( June 9) for his final assessment hopefully to be passed out by Area Lifesaving Manager Allen Head.
All was going according to plan when UK Coastguard alerted the lifeboat to assist a vessel in difficulty off North Foreland. It was quickly located by the new Margate lifeboat; assistance was provided and the lifeboat returned to station where, after a routine debriefing, Keith learned that he had passed his assessment. This meant that as well as becoming the latest helm at the station he has distinction of helming the first service call for the B class lifeboat.
Derek Amas, Lifeboat Operations Manager, Margate RNLI said: “It was a baptism of fire for Keith being thrown into a situation which was not part of the plan and testament to the hard work that he and all the crew have put into developing their roles.
“It was particularly pleasing that the rescue tasking had a happy ending marking the first service call for the new lifeboat.”