VOLUNTEERS who help preserve lives around the coast, have attended an essential course in using VHF marine radio at Coleg Llandrillo’s Marine Engineering department, Rhos-on-Sea.

The short course, which is nationally invigilated by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), provides a key skill for those involved within the search and rescue service, of which the National Coastwatch Institution’s Great Orme station plays an active part, reporting to HM Coastguard in Holyhead.

The students’ ranged from 16 to 80 years of age.

Initially, all volunteers receive training on how to watch and listen for people in difficulty around the coast, and they monitor marine VHF the safety radio frequencies. So being licensed to use the radio is of vital importance.

Tony Morris, the deputy station manager, stated that as the volunteers have now graduated and are now able to transmit on one of the VHF radios integrated into the station on the Great Orme. This enables timely notification to the coastguard station in Holyhead of situations that needs its involvement.

Deputy manager of the Great Orme station, Tony Morris, said: “We all thoroughly enjoyed the course, especially the teaching methods used. It must be have been quite an experience with our age range: we totalled a combined age of 460 years. We cordially invite any students who have an interest to come and visit us on the Great Orme.”

The Great Orme station has been operational, on Saturdays and Sundays since last August and already has a crew of more than 12 watchkeepers, but more are needed to enable opening on additional days. Tim Day, the station secretary, said that anyone who wants to know more about becoming a watchkeeper should email greatorme.secretary@nci.org.uk