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Poole lifeboat station have had another busy year in 2011 as the official figures are released, though quieter than some years, for the station and volunteers it has been just as full on.
Volunteer coxswain Jonathan Clark said:
"Poole is again the busiest station in the south west and our total hours at sea for 2011 was over two and a half thousand.We have a solid crew here at Poole and are never short of volunteers wanting to join, this means we can man the lifeboats and launch on average in 6 minutes,proficient volunteers dedicated to helping others when we need to and that’s night or day, over athird of our callouts are in the dark".
Jonathan who has been a volunteer at Poole since 1984 and Coxswain at Poole for the last 14years added;
"When the pagers go, you get kitted up,the engines start and you know that there is someone out there that needs your help, your instincts kicking, its second nature, however insignificant or major the incident. No ‘shout’ is the same someare easy and some are scary. The straightforward ones, some people may think what a waste of our time, but if we did not go then it could escalate into something a whole lot worse, we are happy to go and help, we never condone or judge anyone because it could happen to any of us. Our commitment is to savelives at sea".
Highlightsfor the station this year have been the excellent coverage on ITV’s ‘MaydayMayday’ of our crew and lifeboats in action.
Also a highspot are our volunteers, in the museum and shop in the old lifeboat station on thequay. This nostalgic building has welcomed over 40,000 visitors through the door in 2010. Other volunteers have welcomed young and old to the current station for visits andhave visited schools, nursery’s and other groups through out the area, giving the key safety messages and explaining the work that the Poole lifeboats and Poole RNL lifeguards do.
‘It’s a real lifeboat family here working together, I always say it, but its so importantthat people understand that we can not do our volunteer job without the support of our families, employers and the Poole RNLI fundraising group who help to promote the station and collect the pennies that the public generously donate to keep our boats afloat as we are a charity with no government funding’.
‘After the coastal review, where the RNLI is looking at the viability of lifeboat stations along our stretch, our future is uncertain, as the RNLI is restructuring lifeboat deployment in the area. Whatever is decided I know that my crew are committed and will do whatever is asked .It will be a very sad day for Poole if the all-weather lifeboat is taken away from the busiest coastal station but until this decision is made, we will continue to be there for whoever needs us and utilize the equipment we are given, our crew are prepared for anything’.