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Orkney Deaf Children's Society visit RNLI Longhope Lifeboat station.

Lifeboats News Release

Crew members promote Respect the Water campaign.

Orkney Deaf Children's Society visit RNLI Longhope Lifeboat, waving and saluting from the stern deck.

RNLI/Mary Harris

Orkney Deaf Children's Society visit RNLI Longhope Lifeboat

RNLI Longhope recently had the great pleasure of spending a few hours with some wonderful children and their families from the Orkney Deaf Children's Society. Their first port of call was our lifeboat museum at Brims before coming along to the station to meet some of the crew.

It was during this time that a parent asked: 'What should we do if we fall into the sea'? Our Coxswain Kevin Kirkpatrick took time to carefully explain the dangers and safety procedures to follow when near or in water and each family were grateful to receive some children's visual aids, a pamphlet and promotional items from the Respect the Water campaign.

With lifejackets safely donned the group were then shown around our lifeboat. The children were particularly excited and seemed to really enjoy being inside the boat and having a go at sitting in the Coxswain's seat, while looking very knowledgeable at all the computer screens and finally trying on the headphones.

One of the aims of this very valuable society is to raise awareness in order to reduce vulnerability and feelings of isolation. Maybe through excursions like this we can contribute in some small way towards this aim and it seems to me that the society is doing a sterling job.

We thoroughly enjoyed their visit and we would like to thank everyone involved and hope we can build on this friendship and that they will all come to Longhope again.

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.

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