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Whitstable RNLI lifeboat volunteers compete in Dan Davies Trophy as part of a training exercise

By Aidan Barlow

Whitstable’s volunteer lifeboat crews tested their seamanship to the limit as part of a competitive training exercise.

The RNLI held its annual Dan Davies Trophy competition on Saturday. It was set up in memory of the the local GP who was the station’s first Honorary Medical Advisor who died in 1977.

Lifeboat crews taking part in the Dan Davies Trophy exercises

Lifeboat crews taking part in the Dan Davies Trophy exercises

Two teams had to react to a fictional situation where a barge has stopped to help a party of would-be migrants whose dinghy is sinking. The migrants board the barge, and a fight ensues, causing injuries.

They were observed by the medical advisor Dr Terry Stefani, who created the scenario, and local GP Dr Alastair Gould.

Lifeboat volunteer Matt Bate helps Scott Goudie during the exercise

Lifeboat volunteer Matt Bate helps Scott Goudie during the exercise

Dr Gould said: “Both teams have been tested to their very limit. In these conditions it would have been extremely difficult for any medical professional.

“Today’s exercise probably contained more than a lifeboat volunteer’s career worth of casualties and injuries in just one day.”

Crews had to test their first aid skills under pressure, with a challenging mix of stab wounds, head injuries and asthma attacks.

Lifeboat volunteers Mike Dinley and Rob Nicholls in action during the exercise

Lifeboat volunteers Mike Dinley and Rob Nicholls in action during the exercise

Steve Hulks, Scott Goudie, Lindsay Hart and Lee Page from the South East Coast Ambulance Trust acted the parts of the various casualties the lifeboat crews found.

Trainee helmsman Rob Nicholls joined crewmembers John Skinner and Mike Dinley in one team, while helmsman Craig Sidders was joined by Liam Sidders and Matt Bate in the other.

Dr Dan Davies' son Charlie presented the trophy to Craig Sidders, Liam Sidders and Matt Bate

Dr Dan Davies' son Charlie presented the trophy to Craig Sidders, Liam Sidders and Matt Bate

Matt Bate was on the winning team. He said afterwards: “This was my first Dan Davies exercise and the problems and casualties outnumbered us. We were under physical and mental pressure, so this was a very good training exercise.”

For more information about supporting the RNLI Lifeboat crews then please visit www.rnli.org.uk.

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