Kingswear Primary first school to visit the new Dartmouth RNLI Visitor Centre.
When the RNLI Visitor Centre in Dartmouth fully opened in December 2015 its driving force was declared to be an educational one.
When the RNLI Visitor Centre in Dartmouth fully opened in
December 2015 its driving force was declared to be an educational one. The aim
was to inform visitors about the various arms of the charity, from lifeboats to
lifeguards, flood rescue and education, both at home and abroad.
The Centre welcomes visits by organisations and schools. The Dartmouth Beavers and Cubs were the first to make an evening visit and last Thursday the Centre was closed for the afternoon when twenty six children from Kingswear primary school, led by their teacher Mrs Sarah Simnett, were the first school to use the facility.
The youngest children were seated in the demonstration D class lifeboat whilst the older ones gathered around to watch the exciting presentation of videos and photos on the screen in front of them. John Fenton, the RNLI Dart Education volunteer, led them through the development of lifeboats, dating back to the earliest ones pulled by oars to the use of modern Hovercraft used for rescues in muddy conditions where boats cannot go. The children watched film of the terrible weather conditions nowadays that the RNLI has to go out in to rescue people and realised, perhaps for the first time, how heroic the volunteers were in the past to face the same conditions under oars and sail.
Halfway through the presentation the children were challenged to find and learn a fact that none of their class knew from the various information displays around them about Coastal safety and the work of the RNLI.
Once back at school the children will be working over the next 2 weeks on various projects based on the facts they had learnt during their afternoon with the RNLI.
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 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.