Falmouth RNLI volunteer successfully passes final coxswain assessment

Nick Head <i>(Image: RNLI/Simon Culliford)</i>
Nick Head (Image: RNLI/Simon Culliford)

Crew member Nick Head has become the latest fully qualified coxswain on Falmouth’s Severn class all-weather lifeboat Richard Cox Scott after successfully completing his final assessment recently.

Nick, who joined the RNLI nearly 12 years ago, is also an inshore lifeboat helm and an all-weather lifeboat navigator. He qualified as a navigator in 2021 and almost immediately started his coxswain training. Nick is one of three crew members selected by the station to undertake a coxswains development plan and is the second to pass out, joining Adam West who qualified last November. Unfortunately, both the navigator and coxswain training was disrupted at times by restrictions caused by the pandemic.

Part of the training included two courses at the RNLI College at Poole, a command course and a search and rescue course. Both were predominately practical, out on the water but also included some classroom sessions.

Speaking about the training and qualifying, Nick said: ‘It was hard and intense and you could feel the pressure knowing that the spotlight was on you. However, I did enjoy going through the process and it was good to know that the other crew members supported what you were doing.

‘During the final assessment, the trainer/accessors put you at ease from the beginning. Luckily the conditions were fantastic, it’s obviously not always like that.

‘When I joined the RNLI, I never thought I would be a qualified coxswain nearly 12 years later. Obviously I’ve yet to go out on my service in command but I feel confident with picking the crew and taking the lifeboat afloat. I’m obviously hoping it won’t be anything too serious.’ Falmouth RNLI Coxswain Jonathon Blakeston said: ‘Nick is to be congratulated on what he has achieved, it has taken 18 months of hard work, devotion and commitment to attain this qualification. He joins Adam as part of the next generation of coxswains at Falmouth which is really important for the station’s future.’