Prince Michael of Kent visits Cowes Lifeboat Station
Prince Michael of Kent spent over an hour at the Cowes RNLI lifeboat station today, talking to the station’s volunteers and receiving a guided tour of the station, opened by the Queen in 2012.
The visit coincided with the period when the station was on full stand-by because of the famous Round the Island race.
He told operations manager Mark Southwell that while he did not have an in-depth knowledge of the RNLI he is Commonwealth President of the Royal Lifesaving Society, and so was particularly interested in the RNLI’s emphasis on water safety through its new Respect the Water campaign.
Accompanied by the Island’s Lord Lieutenant, Prince Michael then heard from the station’s Visits Officer, Penny Maclean, that the RNLI was working in partnership with the society to drastically reduce the number of drownings in the country.
The Prince also met Harry Leslie, who as well as being a Deputy Launching Authority at the station is also a consultant for the RNLI concerning the charity’s new RCAMS system for calling people out and communicating. “I explained that this system puts the RNLI at the forefront of emergency service communication in this country,” said Harry, the senior user on the project.
“The Prince clearly appreciated the pivotal role taken by the RNLI in what is the first emergency service to produce a multi-agency incident transfer capability.”
As part of his tour the Prince climbed up on to the station’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat in the boathouse, and heard about its extensive equipment from boat crew member Mark Harker and shore crew Ian Luff.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.