Llandudno RNLI crews have been put through their paces in a two day training and assessment programme.

This called for launches of both the all weather and inshore lifeboats in very stormy and challenging conditions, which tested those involved both at sea and on the shore.

With RNLI external assessors in charge, 10 crew members prepared for their final examination in a range of skills and competencies. Areas covered included command situations for coxswains, inshore lifeboat helms and head launchers along with launch vehicle driving including the sophisticated Shannon launch and recovery system.

John Roberts one of the trainers at Llandudno said: “These assessment days are very demanding and rigorous in terms of not only setting high standards for those being assessed, but also for the other crew members taking part as they are expected to perform safely, efficiently and effectively as a team.

“There is no hiding place in a small boat or on the beach. The assessors don't miss anything. It's also very demanding in terms of the crew being volunteers and having to take time off work, study for and pass assessments around family and work life. The external assessors visit lots of stations and not only assess, but act as quality controllers thus ensuring RNLI standards are compatible across the UK”.

A significant part of the assessments focused on the work of the shore crews who play a crucial part in the 24 hours a day operational requirements of the lifeboat station. Alun Pari Huws deputy launch authority described how no launch of Llandudno's all weather lifeboat is possible without the vital work of the highly trained shore crew, often working in cold, windy and dark conditions. Where all weather lifeboats are launched from a carriage, such as at Llandudno, a team of between 8 and 12 people is required to launch and recover safely.