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RNLI crew members at Kessock station celebrate after passing Helm assessments

By Federica Stefani

Tom Booth and Dougie Munro are the new Helms for the Kessock Lifeboat Station.
Tom Booth and Dougie Munro are the new Helms for the Kessock Lifeboat Station.

A charity lifeboat crew is celebrating after two members qualified to take command of the vessel on call-outs.

Volunteers Douglas Munro and Tom Booth, from the RNLI's Kessock lifeboat station, completed the charity's rigorous Helm assessment after months of training, practical tests and study.

Gary Friedman, Deputy Launch Authority at the station says, “I am very pleased to see that after all their hard work and commitment to training, involving many long cold nights afloat on the Moray Firth, both Tom and Dougie have achieved the status of RNLI Helm for our Atlantic Inshore Lifeboat. They will both be a great asset to the existing Helms and will further enhance our ability to respond to the call to save lives at sea.”

Mr Munro started his RNLI voluntary service at Loch Ness in 2013 and completed his training at Kessock in September 2018, where he passed out with crew member Tom. Both crewmen then continued their journey towards their successful Helm qualifications, bringing the total number of Kessock helmsmen to five.

Talking about his achievement, he said: “It feels amazing to pass out and take the next step in my lifeboat volunteer career. I’m really looking forward to taking the helm on training and shouts a like.”

Tom Booth has already put his Helm qualification to good use, leading the crew on an exercise recently. He said: “ I was really pleased to have passed the final assessments and to now work hard to lead the crew with the high standards of professionalism shown by the other helms.”

The two new Helms will now be responsible for taking command of the lifeboat when at sea.

Area Lifesaving Manager, Stuart Gudegeon congratulated the pair and commented that they are now in a position to help train the next generation of crew following the current recruitment campaign which ends on March 23.

To find out more visit volunteering.rnli.org/vacancies

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