MCA/RNLI

philmarks

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Anyone seen the ad in Bank Underground Station? I hadn't realised that the RNLI was now part of the Coastguard Agency (or so the ad very nearly implies). I'm not happy that my £84 subs as an Offshore Member are being properly applied (ie subsidising a Government Agency). What's it coming to?

I'm not knocking all the volunteers who put their lives at risk 24 hrs a day. The RNLI is a wonderful organisation; BUT, someone has to ask if they are headed in the right direction.

They have £25m a week income (yes) and have been told by the Charity Commissioners to stop fundraising for a while. They are now considering basing lifeboats on lakes. They have more money than they know what to do with. I wonder what the subs will be for an Offshore Member (Lakes)? I certainly don't want my subs subbing the Treasury.

Any views?
 

Twister_Ken

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RNLI on the Thames

There's someething in this whole 'RNLI on the Thames' business that doesn't smell quite right. Thames Division of the Met has for a long time had responsibilty for Thames rescue (assisted by PLA and Fire Brigade vessels). Suddenly, the RNLI stations 3 RIBs on the Thames. (Tower, Chiswick, Teddington). My suspicion is that someone wants to cut the costs of Thames division so that money can either be saved or reallocated to other police services. "Oh, I know, let's get RNLI to take over rescue. Promise the directors a few gongs in the honours list and they play ball."

The spin doctors have wrapped it up as a response to the Marchioness disaster but a) that was 12 years ago, b) from my understanding almost all of those who died were trapped in the Marchioness, not floating free, so a RIB or two wouldn't have helped c) the Police launches saved lives by beaching the Marchioness - they are hunky enough to be able to tow heavy weights and d) if the government were seriously concerned about saving lives on the Thames, they'd have a helo on permanent stand-by at Battersea.

This is not meant to denigrate the RNLI crews - I just suspect that they are political pawns for someone's game.
 

ParaHandy

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Re: RNLI on the Thames

Imagine Lord Justice Cocklecarrot sitting in a room with several Sir Humphreys, representing the MCA & PLA etc, and the RNLI. He asks who's going to run the rescue service, eh? The government agencies hum and haw about costs and the RNLI get the job - with contribution from gov which would be much less than any alternative. Job done and everybody's happy. It might be as simple as that.

For the RNLI to decline would have brought a much loved national institution into disrepute.
 

paulrossall

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Re: RNLI:- to save lives at sea

It was always dead simple to state what the RNLI existed for:- TO SAVE LIVES AT SEA. They had a new chief executive appointed in 1999 who came from the Ambulance service and was previously a soldier. I believe he has lost the plot and is diversifying the RNLI to operation on the Thames and also possibly on some lakes and also as lifeguards on beaches. I feel so agrieved about this that I have resigned as a long time member/subscriber, as this is the only way to get the Fat Cat Administrators at the RNLI to take notice. They are betraying the volunteers who make up the majority (all unpaid) of the RNLI. I will do anything to support the guys that go out in all weathers to help seamen but this diversification has to be stopped before it further commits the funds that were never raised to be spent in this manner. How many people have left legacies expecting the money to be used as it has been since the RNLI was started? They must be rolling in their graves!
 

tcm

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Re: RNLI on the Thames

RNLI does seem to be a dream charity- a large swathe of the population is happy to donate at almsot every opportunity, me included, I suppose. Post-lottery, there seems to be more and more "essential" services actually provided by the voluntary sector. Nonetheless £25m a week seems a whole heap of loot to get rid of, and it's no good "not collecting" - money from wills, interest, investments and subs must keep rolling in anyway. Very tempting for a cash-strapped government desperate not to raise taxes.
 

ccscott49

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The government have for a long time wanted to get there hands on the RNLI, the coastguard in particular, ask them! The govenment are money grabbing ars....les they will do anything to stay in power and run over anybodys wishes, I thought everybody knew that! The RNLI brings in a lot of cash, the government wants it! They will take over the service, then take the money and run down the service, when they have crippled it! The RNLI lost the plot a long time ago, not the crews, but ask the coxswains, they know the organisation is being run by ex-navy, ex-army ex etc. They are all power mongers and would love a pat on the back from the powers that be, look at the money raised and wasted by the introduction of new technology which the crews didn't want! Look at the money wasted by the navy and govenrment, do you want them running the service! Not bloody likely! They are throwing money away, which is the future oof the service, stop it now, let your feelings be known! The crews need our support, not the fat cats!
 
G

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Re: RNLI:- to save lives at sea

No I think you may have ,it's quite simple, Example
If you gave some one £2000. to do a specific task that you so deeply agree with then if that some one spent it on any thing but what you had intended .would you not feel aggrieved .I know I most certainly would .
Does it mean that from now on we'll see money bequeathed but only to a certain branch of the RNLI , because that may well be what happens.
Mick

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/boats
I'm looking for the next one ,ex trawler would be good !!
 

paulrossall

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Re: RNLI:- to save lives at sea

So should the RNLI provide lifeguards at every unattended stretch of water in the UK, or provide escorts for every canoe trip undertaken in the UK?. This is the problem with the RNLI, the UK Government and Blair (even though I thought Labour would do a good job) it is a complete loss of direction. And even more than that it is letting down the people who have supported the RNLI who never dreamed it would take on the job that the Statutory Authorities should be covering. The Government should be funding the River Police etc to look after the Thames not dipping into money donated for other purposes. Bet this new Chief Executive can see his mention in the New Years Honours lists coming already!
 

ParaHandy

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Re: RNLI on the Thames

The figure of £25m mentioned elsewhere does seem dubious. RNLI has approx £250m reserves and costs £100m to run annually. They might have got £25m in one week but I don't think they collect that regularly.

I did wonder whether running a London service might be a very shrewd move by the RNLI in the long term. It's all to do with "brands" and "image". There isn't an institution in the City which hasn't got a large amount of crap attached to it eg Lloyds, big 5 auditors (Andersen partic), Pensions (Equitable, Mirror, misselling), OEICs. The ordinary man & woman in UK has been poorly served and the City would wish to attach itself to those whom everybody has absolute confidence.

There are also +8m well-heeled people there.

If the RNLI haven't thought of that, they should have - they've now got a corporate PR bunny so maybe they have.

ps the other side of this coin is where institutions attach themselves to commercial activities eg chandleries where your reputation is in the hands of others. That ends in tears.
 
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New Coastguard cutters

.. are now equipped as escort and rescue vessels.

I was made aware of this when a recent news item showed a crippled SeaKat being escorted into HArwich by a Coastguard Cutter which role has always previously been that of the RNLI.

If you were to ask a representative of our beloved government their policy on "Privately funded" organisations having an unregulated role in the emergency and state support services you might get an answer that you didn't like.

You heard it here first!!

Steve Cronin
 

jamesjermain

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I, too, am very concerned about the advertising for the new RNLI Thames rescue service which seems to be blurring the distinction between the Coastguard as the Government funded Rescue Co-ordination Service and the RNLI as the rescuers. Clearly the two work together closely but have very distinct roles. In order to set up the Thames service, the Coastguard had to be involved but they are not, as the adverts seem to imply, the rescuers.

As far as funding the new RNLI stations is concerned I quote from my interview with Andrew Freemantle, CEO of the RNLI which appeared in the Winter edition of the RYA Magazine.

'The establishment of lifeboat stations on the Thames was done in response to a request from the Government following the Marchioness disaster. Some people feel the Government, not the RNLI should be paying for this. But I would point out that the City of London is one of our biggest contributors. Having a high profile on the Thames is also a great fund raising opportunity.'

Mr Freemantle clearly expects to raise more in additional funds than the cost of the stations - or that they will, at least, be self-supporting. Although the Government 'requested' the stations, there is not and, as far as Mr Freemantle is concerned, never will be, any pressure from Government to take over the service. On the contrary, it knows a good deal when it sees it.

As far as lake/inland rescue is concerned, there are only two stations, Enniskillin and the South Norfolk Broads. Both are pilot schemes which are currently being assessed. If they saves lifes then who can deny that they are worth having? Once again, the profile of the RNLI in a new area will lead to increased local fund raising which, it is hoped, will make the stations self-funding.

Beach rescue is also a new initiative which is being evaluated. Unlike all other RNLI services, it is paid for by the user, in this case the local councils whose beaches are covered. Once again, this is a service the RNLI is providing 'by invitation'. There is no intention, nor has the RNLI the ability, to cover all beaches. At the moment the pilot scheme covers five beaches on the South Coast. If it is successful, the RNLI may take on other sites if asked to do so by the local authority.

Again I quote from my interview.
'...thanks to the efforts of our fund raisers we are in a sound financial position. This gives us the opportunity to look at new ways of saving lives...If our finances should seriously weaken, we would review whether to cut back to our core activiity which is to provide a lifeboat service.'

I, too, have concerns about the RNLIs experiments with inland rescue stations, and look forward to hearing the results of the evaluation. But if they are providing a service which they can afford, and which no one else is able to provide, and lives are saved, then I think their case may well be proved.



JJ
 

Mr Cassandra

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Re: RNLI:- to save lives at sea

Their job is to save Lives, not save moneyIf they think they have the nessasary fund ing to expand the service , it will give them more exposier ,to the people, hence more ,not less donations Bob T

Bob T
 

tonyleigh

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Alternative Funding Souces

Read threads with considerable interest. At a presentation I attended last week in connection with Sea Check much weight was placed on reducing the cost of rescue services. The RNLI speaker made the point that the number of shouts must be reduced and a boat licence costing £400pa had already been discussed at Government level as an alternative way of funding shouts. This seemed fairly academic last week but perhaps less so given comments on this thread.
 

ParaHandy

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Have a look at J Astbury's (Chief Coastguard) comments:
"This is a new concept for Londoners and we need to make them aware of the service provided by the Coastguard. We are confident that the co-ordinated approach between ourselves, the RNLI and other agencies will help safeguard lives on the Thames....."

He would appear to be giving credit where it is due.

The problem is Londoners, surely! They aren't the most intelligent bunch?! First spot of snow & everything grinds to a halt with them wafting their hands in the air asking for help.

While chatting to Freemantle was the disparity between the funding of RNLI & French SNMS mentioned? The French make v. pointed reference to this.
 

jamesjermain

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No, the disparity did not come up directly.

However, I spoke to him at around the time a report appeared of a French Coastguard vessel muscling in on a British rescue operation. I can't remember the details now, but in essence a British boat was in minor difficulties in Channel Island waters. The Jersey Coatguard (I think) alerted an RNLI lifeboat but the Coastguard vessel, which was nearby, stood the lifeboat down and towed the yacht in itself - and promptly claimed salvage.

JJ
 

Peter_the_Grate

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A while ago, I took part in a focus group run by the RNLI to find out what contributing members thought of the service and the direction in which it was heading. I was surprised to learn that there were crews operating overseas, in the floods in Mozambique for example (I think it was Mozambique ... it was Africa somewhere, where there was flooding) and that there were plans to add other rescue type services that did not appear to me to relate to the primary purpose of the charity.

When we summed up at the end of the meeting, the general view was that the RNLI ought to stick to its core competency. No-one objected to the RNLI giving help in extreme circumstances, where expertise in rescue on the water was required to save life; after all, they are the best. The concept of having a sort of "International Rescue" organisation standing by to fly off to operate ribs etc all over the world was not popular.
 
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Common occurance James

You might remember the incident I reported last year about my neighbours Mick & Cathy Sullivan had in the Rade de Brest.

Not wishing to scaremonger (as if) but I think that there is something a rumbling on this topic.

Steve CRonin
 
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