Maritime Rescue Institute - Scotland

The decline of traditional maritime communities around the world has had a significant impact on the arena of waterborne search and rescue, both in terms of the skills found among new recruits to lifeboat crews and the types of incidents occurring. 

Maritime Rescue Institute (MRI) has responded to this trend by developing a programme of exciting educational and awareness activities, with an overall aim, ‘to promote and advance the education of the public and accident prevention in the waterbourne environment’. 

Partnerships have been developed with schools, police and local community groups in order to achieve this. 

The Education programmes promote a range of skills, which reflect those required by the lifeboat crew. These include: Leadership, Teamwork, Communication and Social Responsibility. Whilst the participants have fun and learn new skills, MRI incorporates crucial safety messages to improve awareness and therefore reduce the number of incidents and fatalities. 

The programmes are aimed at all ages ranging from 3 years old to adult. They focus on water safety and rescue and also can incorporate local issues, such as flooding or incidents involving young people on our coastline.  

Our Education Officer undertakes class visits, which are topic related and gives presentations on the work of MRI at school assemblies. 

Schools visit MRI for class field trips, which are activity or topic related and always include aspects of coastal awareness, watersafety and search and rescue (SAR). 

In recent years, MRI’s education has expanded and, through funding, includes working with primary, secondary and further education to produce educational material. Last year MRI produced a Treasure Chest, which contained many maritime or SAR based topics and 10 local primary school received a Treasure Chest. 

Our latest funded project is entitled “Waterproofing” and is working with a year group from a secondary school to producematerial for their peers, which will promote coastal awareness. This has also included in-water training sessions with 5 classes of pupils in a swimming pool and teaches water awareness and rescue techniques using throw-lines. MRI hopes to expand these training sessions by offering them to other schools at a cost and generating income for the charity by doing so. 

Through our programmes we have found that our safety message and knowledge of the work the charity does, reaches parents, relatives and corporate partners, thereby helping us expand awareness in the community. Consequently, this leads to other support and helps us fundraise, recruit volunteers and develop the work of the charity. 

But, the most important bit of all is that we have seen a great reduction in fatalities and incidents involving youth around our cliffs and shorelines. 

Download the MRI Education Presentation now (held at the 2nd Latin American Conference in Uruguay October 2012). 

MRI Education Presentation