Northumberland's Coastguard teams look to recruit more volunteer lifesavers

As New Year challenges go, training up to be a lifesaver could be the one to champion all.

By Fiona Thompson
Friday, 22nd January 2021, 9:27 am

Coastguard teams based at Howick, Seahouses, Holy Island and Berwick are on the search for more on-call volunteers as they look fill gaps after people moved on because of their jobs or are planning to retire.

Those taken on will undergo a range of training, including first aid, navigation and map reading, how to understand tides and read the coastline and take the Lost and Missing Persons’ Search course, which the same taken by police and mountain rescue teams.

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Four Coastguard Rescue Teams in Northumberland are searching for new members to help make a difference.

In addition to going to help those in danger, members help set up helicopter landing sites, deal with marine pyrotechnics and unexploded ordnance regularly washed up on the Northumberland coast, deal with pollution and other hazardous incidents, such as flooding, and are also tasked dead and live strandings of Royal Fish, which include whales, dolphins and porpoises alongside British Divers’ Marine Life Rescue.

Team members must be able to reach their base within 20 minutes and be in a job where they can head out to reach a call out, as well have the time and availability to train and join in exercises.

Ian Woods is station officer for Howick’s team and works as a sales director for Northumberland Spirit Company, having served as a firefighter for 31 years with Northumberland and Rescue Service.

He said: “We’re looking for people with commitment and enthusiasm who want to make a difference out there and help people.”

"In return, they’re going to learn a range of skills.

"Employers can also get a lot of this, because their employee is going to be trained to a very high standards, so we would ask them to consider it if one of their workers is interested in joining us.”

Applicants should be aged over 18, have a full driving licence, and be fit and in good health.

The initial four-weekend training course will be held in June and July, subject to Covid-19 restrictions, and costs for time and mileage for the sessions can be claimed.

Anyone interested has until 5pm Sunday, February 28, to register their application, with information packs available by emailing [email protected].

Those with questions about the role can send messages into the Howick Coastguard Rescue Team’s Facebook page.

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