Schoolchildren visit RNLI New Brighton to learn about water safety
Egremont Primary School pupils sat in a lifeboat and heard how to be safe in and around water from RNLI lifeboat volunteers on Friday 18 May.
Twenty four Year 5 schoolchildren took part in sessions explaining that the letters RNLI stand for Royal National Lifeboat Institution, what water-safety signs mean and the best techniques to survive in water, particularly in situations of cold water shock.
RNLI Deputy Launching Authority Andy Liston, who led the water safety session, said: ‘It was brilliant to see schoolchildren buzzing with excitement while learning what to do if they’re in trouble in the water. And how to spot if someone else is having difficulty.
‘It was also a good opportunity to make sure children are aware of the risks of cold-water shock. Whether accidentally falling into a reservoir or thinking a canal might be a nice place to cool off on a hot summer’s day, it’s important they realise the effect our cold UK waters can have.’
Pupils also had the chance to sit inside RNLI New Brighton’s inshore lifeboat while RNLI Lifeboat Crew Member Steve Mole took them through its features. He said: “As it was such a sunny day, we parked our inshore lifeboat Charles Dibdin outside before first showing the children how to get in. They then learned about all the different parts of the lifeboat, how everything works and how the RNLI crew communicates with other rescue agencies we work closely with.
‘It was great to see how interested the children were. A number were also keen to know how soon they could volunteer so we may be welcoming back a few of these faces in years to come.’
The trip to RNLI New Brighton Lifeboat Station was organised by schoolteacher Stephanie Merry as part of Egremont Primary’s Health and Safety week.
‘The children really enjoyed their experience and it opened their eyes to the dangers of the water,' said Merry. 'Most of our children live very close the water and this trip gave them an overall awareness of the RNLI and the important job they do. This has given the children a new opportunity and possibility for their own future.’
For more on cold-water shock and how to help overcome its effects visit https://rnli.org/safety/know-the-risks/cold-water-shock.
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.