A VOLUNTEER at Lyme Regis RNLI lifeboat station has received a helping hand in his steps towards vital crew training.

Tom Wallis, 28, had an important part of his crew training funded by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a UK registered charity that invests in science, engineering and technology for public benefit.

Tom spent one week at the RNLI College in Poole to complete the charity’s trainee crew course.

The centre includes a 25-metre long wave-generating survival tank, allowing trainees to experience first hand some of the scenarios they may encounter at sea, should they ever need to abandon their lifeboat.

Mr Wallis said: “The course was absolutely fantastic. I tackled fire fighting at sea, using all sorts of equipment and took the helm of an Atlantic 85 lifeboat, which is the same class as our boat in Lyme Regis.”

A key part of the course is the sea survival element, which enables new volunteers to learn how to abandon ship with a four metre jump into water, team survival swimming and coping in a liferaft in simulated darkness, how to deal with fires aboard lifeboats, how to right a capsized inshore lifeboat and the importance of lifejackets.

The Lloyd’s Register Foundation will be funding the sea survival element of trainee crew courses for a five year period until December 2015.

Grahame Forshaw, RNLI volunteer lifeboat operations manager in Lyme Regis, said: “The support given by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation is hugely important to the RNLI.

“We are extremely grateful that it has chosen to fund sea survival training, which teaches vital core skills to our volunteer crew.”