Marina teams at MDL Marinas receive bespoke RNLI water safety training

Demonstrating its commitment to the safety of its staff, berth holders and visitors, MDL Marinas is providing bespoke water safety training for its marina teams led by the RNLI water safety experts.

Conducted at the charity’s specialist training facility, the RNLI College in Poole, the training sessions were tailored to reflect the marina environment, potential customer rescue scenarios and equipment available at all MDL locations, such as reach and rescue poles, as well as covering more generic sea survival and self-recovery skills.

The initial training sessions, which took place on 4 May and 1 June, have focused on lone works and dockmasters at MDL’s 19 UK based marinas and boatyards, but the opportunity will be extended to all members of the marina teams, highlighting the marina group’s culture of safety and security.

“The safety of our employees and our customers is of paramount importance to us,” says Joe Walton, Head of Health, Safety and Environment at MDL Marinas. “The aim of this training, which has been developed specifically to meet the needs of our marina teams, is to ensure that when working on the pontoons or around the water each individual has the necessary skills and practical experience to ensure their personal safety, and that of our customers, as well as offer assistance to someone in the water.”

RNLI College in Poole is the home of RNLI training, where lifeboat volunteers from across the UK and Ireland are trained to become able crew members.

“As the leading lifesaving organisation in the UK, the RNLI’s training college with its world-class training facilities and expert instructors is the ideal place for our teams to undertake lifesaving and water safety training,” continues Joe.

“We’re very grateful to the RNLI for providing MDL with the opportunity to offer these useful and informative training sessions with the RNLI to our employees, the only marina group to do so.”

MDL’s bespoke water safety training included an introduction to cold water shock theory, lifejacket theory and practical demonstration sessions, talk, reach and throw rescue techniques, rough water swimming drills, self-extraction and person recovery techniques.

“As the charity that saves lives at sea, we have a duty of care to train people on their personal water safety techniques and how to assist others in distress in cold water,” says Matias Wapinski, Sea Survival Centre Trainer at the RNLI College. “We provide training in a completely safe, controlled environment. At the RNLI College, we offered a bespoke programme of training for MDL’s dockmasters and staff, covering subjects such as cold-water shock and accident prevention in marinas, as well as emphasising the importance of wearing lifejackets and the correct use of lifesaving appliances.”

Team member at MDL’s Woolverstone Marina and Lodge Park, Michelle Clarke, comments: “The in-water training was great and gave us a chance to go in the water with our lifejackets on, gearing the whole experience to real life events. The RNLI staff were brilliant and took time to explain any questions I asked, and I now feel even more confident in my role and in using all the safety equipment we have at the marina.”

As a charity, the RNLI relies primarily on donations to carry out its invaluable search and rescue services, saving hundreds of lives each year. Donations to the RNLI can be made via its website:

For more information on MDL, its marinas, facilities and services visit:

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