Three men have become newly-qualified tractor drivers for Rye Harbour RNLI after passing their final assessments last month.
Steve Brown, Paul Anderson and John Rodgers will now play a vital role at the lifeboat station after passing their training on June 24.
The role of the tractor driver is to take charge of the launch vehicle and rig during the launch and recovery of the ILB (Inshore Lifeboat) for services and exercises under the direction of the head launcher or helmsman; to maintain competence under Competency Based Training (CoBT); and to contribute to the operational efficiency of the station, lifeboats and equipment. It is a vital rôle because the boat cannot launch without a tractor driver and the equipment must maintained to a high standard at all times.
Plant and machinery assessor/trainer Paul Watling, said: “It was a great success with most importantly safe, competent drivers. Rye Harbour was a very welcoming station and all the crew gave their support in the evening to ensure that all the tests could be passed.”
Paul Anderson said he had gained a great deal of knowledge and felt supported by his fellow volunteers at the station, while Steve Brown added that they had all learnt new skills which will be passed on to the team.
John Rodgers was the third member to pass and said: “It was a long day with quite a few challenges which we worked through successfully. It was great to feel supported by the whole team, especially the boat crew who were vital in launching the boat three times so each of us could be assessed. A new recruit, Lucy stayed throughout the day making us coffee and keeping us motivated.”