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Kingswear Primary first school to visit the new Dartmouth RNLI Visitor Centre.

Lifeboats News Release

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 Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland