Two RNLI volunteers have qualified as helmsmen for inshore lifeboats at the charity's Wells station.

For the last seven years, Simon Parkes and Gary Yarham have been honing their skills, preparing for the multifaceted challenges of commanding the D-Class lifeboat, Peter Wilcox.

The boat operates close to shore, often in shallow and confined areas, demanding exceptional competence and experience from the crew.

Mr Parkes said: “This is my seventh year as part of the Wells lifeboat crew.

"Both of us joined within a few months of each other.

New lifeboat helms bound to safeguard lives at Wells RNLI New lifeboat helms bound to safeguard lives at Wells RNLI (Image: Submitted)

"I remember walking into our old boathouse and, as a nurse, saying that I know nothing about the sea but am able to look after people.

"Our LOM, Chris, replied that the station can teach me all the sea-going skills we need and that is what they have done to become a D-class helm.

"The teaching we have received has been first class.

"The final pass-out was nerve-wracking, but we had a great crew.

“More than any of my work qualifications, becoming a helm is probably my proudest life achievement."

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Mr Yarham said: “Both myself and Simon have worked together since joining the RNLI at around the same time.

"As a self employed builder, I was in a similar position to Simon, and have thoroughly enjoyed learning and working with him throughout our helm training program and would like to thank those who gave us their time to complete and pass out as helms.”

The duty of the helmsman, as described by the RNLI, is to safeguard and rescue lives while ensuring the safety of their crew.

These new appointments bring the total number of helms at RNLI Wells to six.