LLANDUDNO lifeboat has a new helm for its inshore lifeboat.

Mike Jones has completed the training course and has passed out as a helm for the D class inshore lifeboat.

Over the last 11 months, Mike has been assessed on the numerous different challenges of being in charge of a D-Class lifeboat.

Mike has been a volunteer at Llandudno for the last four and a half years and has served as a crew member on both the all-weather and inshore lifeboats. In 2018 Mike also qualified as a navigator on the new Shannon Class Lifeboat and as a casualty care practitioner.

Mike said: “during my education, professional career and with the RNLI I have participated in many tests, exams and assessments but this recent one to become a helm has been the most rigorous by far. I am very proud of what I have achieved and look forward to joining the compliment of other helm crew members at Llandudno Lifeboat Station”.

A RNLI spokesperson said: “our crews are prepared to drop everything and risk their lives to save others at a moment's notice. Their lifesaving work is essential, often difficult and sometimes dangerous. As only one in 10 volunteers who join the RNLI coming from a professional maritime occupation, training is especially important. That’s why we provide our crew members with first-class training, equipment, guidance and support.

“Our lifeboat crews train together every week, at sea and ashore. Training exercises focus on teamwork, technical competence and safe operating procedures covering everything from boat-handling, search and rescue, and navigation, to radar training, radio communications and casualty care. Crews also practise rescue scenarios involving other emergency services such as the Coastguard and fire and rescue services”.

The Llandudno inshore lifeboat, Dr Barbara Saunderson, is highly manoeuvrable and usually operates closer to shore than the all weather lifeboats. She comes into her own for searches and rescues in the surf, shallow water and confined locations, often close to cliffs, among rocks and even inside caves, activities which demand an extremely high level of competence and experience from the volunteer crews involved.