Being a Sea Rescue volunteer is a huge time commitment. We all live close to our stations, and for our on-duty period we need to be able to respond to the base in under 10 minutes. The rescue teams are a close knit outfit.
Each person has a very specific job at sea, and everyone on the team knows each other’s strong and weak points. If one volunteer is not on time for a rescue launch it could be disastrous for the team. And ultimately for the people who need our help.
The crews practice and train together. We do the exercises again and again, until they become second nature. Week after week and month after month.
It is a bit like a professional sports team, really. Spectators see the match and the team is judged on the result. Few spectators see the effort that goes into being that good. And none of the players just walked onto the field because they had 90 minutes free on a Saturday.
The NSRI volunteer crew are good because they work very hard at being good. Over a long period of time.
As nice as it would be to be part of a rescue crew for a few hours a week or a few weeks of the year it is simply not possible. If someone applies to be a NSRI volunteer … natural ability is important, but long-term commitment is more so.