When PC McCann isn’t on the roads of North Wales helping to fight crime he’s wearing a dry suit and taking to the seas off the Anglesey coast as a volunteer member of the Treaddur Bay Lifeboat crew.
PC Leigh McCann, 29, based at the Llandygai Roads Policing Unit, has been with the RNLI for the past 11 years and during this year’s National Volunteers Week, he talks about why he’s so passionate about volunteering.
“I’ve been a Police Officer for six years and prior to that I worked for Stena, based at Holyhead. I’d always wanted to join the police and even joined as a Special Constable whilst working at Stena.
“I’ve been with the lifeboat crew for the past 11 years and wanted to continue to do something sea-based even after joining the regular police.
“As a child I did a lot of power boating and I’ve always had an interest in the sea.
When not on duty PC McCann trains twice a week and is on call 24 hours a day seven days a week when available in between his shifts.
He said: “Being part of the RNLI is a great experience. It’s hard work but you’re part of a brilliant team. You have the exhilaration of going out on a lifeboat to help people who are in trouble, and all the time you’re doing something worthwhile for your local community.”
One of Leigh’s most memorable rescues was during horrendous weather conditions at Ravenspoint just south west of Treaddur Bay.
“Two divers had been washed into a gully at the location and they were clinging onto the rocks. The weather was really bad and we had to veer down by reversing the boat into the gully and anchor down. The boat was being thrashed about and it was quite an experience. Luckily we were able to rescue both divers and help get them to safety.”
“I feel privileged to be a member of the RNLI and hopefully I can continue with the team for many years to come.”
Simon Bunting, RNLI Divisional Operations Manager said: “95% of those involved with the RNLI are volunteers. The charity wouldn’t be able to continue its lifesaving work without the commitment of our volunteers as well as the goodwill and support of local employers who allow their staff to respond to the pagers. When the pager goes off it’s vital that our lifeboat crews stop what they’re doing, rush down to the station and launch the lifeboat as soon as possible. Without the support of the local employers this wouldn’t happen.”
To find out more about the RNLI please visit their website www.rnli.org.uk