June 10th, 2024.

Volunteer Lifeboat Crew members Chris Glasspool and Dan Wittingbergh have passed out as Newhaven RNLI’s first volunteer D Class helms.

Following months of hard work and dedicated training, Newhaven RNLI’s D Class inshore lifeboat has two new helms. Chris Glasspool and Dan Wittingbergh passed out last month.

The station is currently preparing for a two-year operational trial of a D Class inshore lifeboat for use alongside the Severn Class all weather lifeboat. The D Class can be tasked to calls received that could be more efficiently attended by a smaller lifeboat. For example, to an area where the water is more shallow, such as responding to casualties who have been cut off by the tide.

Chris and Dan have seven years’ and seven months experience between them on Newhaven’s all-weather lifeboat. Over the last 18 months, they have undertaken RNLI’s training program, both at the RNLI College in Poole and on station at Newhaven.

Chris Glasspool said: "The RNLI’s training really is world class and has involved going out in challenging conditions to learn the boat's capabilities, and how to manage the boat in these situations. We’ve also practiced search and rescue techniques in an inshore lifeboat. The Severn at our station is the largest lifeboat in the RNLI's fleet and it's been a real shift to adapt to the scale and manoeuvrability of the D class, but we've really enjoyed the challenge.

"Anyone who is thinking about joining us, it is such an exciting time at Newhaven RNLI. With our inshore and all-weather lifeboats, there are so many opportunities at the moment! Our crew are from all walks of life, but we are drawn together by our commitment and drive to save lives at sea."

Dan Wittingbergh, said: "It’s been a privilege to become part of the first Inshore lifeboat crew at Newhaven. The training we've received has been first class and we're really looking forward to being able to launch to different types of incidents as summer finally arrives on the south coast."

If you think you might have what it takes to join the lifesaving crew at Newhaven, the station is recruiting for both all-weather and inshore crew. Find out more HERE.
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