The sea state had been rough, avoiding the tanker ablaze had been hair-raising, and several members of the crew were reaching for the bucket. The helm mopped his brow as he brought us safely through Dover's western entrance. Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Well, the crew felt better the moment the instructor switched off the simulator.
Before stepping aboard the simulator, the 14 members visiting the RNLI College in Poole on 25 January had toured the classrooms, where magnificent views over Holes Bay would distract all but the most studious, and marvelled at the sea survival tank, which will produce wind, waves, thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening, and being plucked from a waved-tossed liferaft by a helicopter's winch.
Lunch and a pint of 'Lifeboat' restored equilibrium as we contemplated the RNLI's orange and blue boats, bobbing in winter weather, from the warmth of the excellent Riggers restaurant (open to the public if you're visiting Poole). Any way the wind blows, doesn't really matter to me.
Written by Mark Turvey
Image from the RNLI