All in the name of search and rescue. Howling winds, the whirring of helicopter blades, choppy waters – and in those conditions our lifeboat capsizes. Then the lights go out and it’s pitch black, but we still have a casualty to rescue and now we need to right the lifeboat!
Fortunately this was only a training exercise. But incredibly realistic, and quite dramatic!
These are the conditions in which I spent a week undergoing an advanced ‘ Search & Rescue Command’ course with the RNLI as part of my training on RNLI Mudeford’s In-shore Lifeboat. The course was challenging but fascinating; the facilities at the RNLI’s training HQ in Poole are second to none – the sound of the helicopter blades whirring, of the winds howling and the waters breaking were simulated as our skills on righting a capsized lifeboat were tested in the training pool no less.
But believe me, it felt real!
Check out the video taken before the lights went out.