Thanks to George for this report from Saturday’s event. Ed
They came in their hundreds to Cowes lifeboat station on Saturday, as the station opened its door to the public to mark the RNLI’s SOS Day.
Together with people lining The Parade, they were able to watch in the welcome sunshine ‘Man Overboard’ demonstrations involving the station’s Atlantic 85 RIB ‘Sheena Louise; except the crew members who bravely took turns to jump into icy seas were women – Shellby Collins and Andrea Vaughen.
When not afloat the lifeboat could also be closely inspected in the boathouse, where crew members were on hand to explain the equipment needed for its vital life-saving role.
Lots of fun activities
Meanwhile the first floor was given over to a wide range of attractions including an Arancia beach-rescue inflatable in which young children were invited to done the RNLI’s distinctive helmets and become a ‘crew member’. A further attraction for youngsters was a table where they could colour in lifeboat pictures.
Elsewhere shore crew member Richard Parr patiently demonstrated the intricacies of knot-tying, a DVD explained the work of the RNLI, while young members of Cowes Sea Cadets eagerly sold home-made cakes in aid of the station. Also given during the day were talks concerning the station site’s long history as a local base for HM Customs. In addition there were photographic reminders of the proud day last summer when the station was officially opened by the Queen.
The station was also open to visitors during Cowes Week, but this was its first comprehensive Open Day. Its undoubted success reflected particularly well on chief organiser, Steve Price. Praise should also go to local Guild members, involved in bucket collections in the High Street throughout the day, and to Fran Bracken who fund-raised at her Murrays restaurant with coffee, cake and soup sessions.
Although the station event, helped by a special raffle, raised further funds, it was also a way of expressing thanks to the many members of the public who generously responded to the new station’s appeal over the last two years.