Sunday 03 February was a day of accomplishment for RNLI Weston volunteer Matt Lyons as he successfully completed his first step towards becoming qualified boat crew aboard the D class lifeboat, Adrian Beaumont.
His first task is to develop local knowledge of Weston Bay, while gaining familiarisation with the lifeboat and its operating procedures. For his first exercise, he launched as part of a three person crew via the low water route around Marine Lake to reach the low water launch point.
Matt joined the RNLI at its current temporary base on Knightstone Island on Weston’s seafront 2 years ago when he joined as shore crew.
Although he had no previous nautical experience or family links to the RNLI, Matt joined the crew and has now attended over 100 emergency calls.
When asked about how he became interested in the RNLI and why he wanted to volunteer, Matt said: ‘In my work role as a Subject Area Manager at Weston College, I was watching a launch one day from my classroom window and was interested in how I could become involved and help. I then discovered that one of my students was on the crew and we got chatting about it all. I decided I would like to give it a try and do something for the good of the people around Weston’.
Matt’s job involves a teaching timetable along with his Head of Department duties, but he says it works well alongside his volunteering as holiday times and work hours enable him to be able to provide cover in the stations busy periods of summer, evenings and weekends.
Matt and his partner Jodie have an 11 week old baby who they have named Oliver.
He continues: ‘Jodie has always been really supportive of me being in the RNLI. Many times we have had to drop everything and get to the station. She is slightly more nervous with me starting my boat crew journey, but as always, is fully supportive’.
Matt now commences a development plan to become fully trained boat crew in addition to his current shore crew duties, which will aid the RNLI in its purpose of saving lives at sea.