Inshore Lifeboat Centre’s open day proved a big success
For the first time for several years the East Cowes-based RNLI Inshore Lifeboat Centre staged an open day today.
Throughout the day around 500 people flocked to the centre; they were welcomed by 45 centre staff and RNLI volunteers, manning the various stalls and conducting tours of the extensive riverside premises.
The visitors had a chance to see how inshore boats are manufactured and maintained at the centre, which accounts for 60 percent of the lifeboats constructed by the RNLI.
Among the other attractions were capsizing and man-overboard demonstrations with a lifeboat in the adjoining marina, music by Medina Marching Band, and the attendance of the Cowes station’s Atlantic 85, Sheena Louise.
There were also lively performances by the Sink or Swim ukulele band, involving a number of centre staff, including Operations Manager Glyn Ellis.
In addition, there was a chance for visitors to view the new Visitor and Heritage Centre, recently opened by the Princess Royal.
The boat-naming began with Glyn welcoming guests to the ceremony; the proceedings continued with the official handing over of the craft by Bill McCutchion to RNLI Council member Roger Fairhead. It was destined to become part of the charity’s relief fleet.
A service of dedication was led by the Rev Andrew Poppe, Vicar of St Mary’s Church, Cowes, and Chaplain of Cowes lifeboat station.
As the Open Day drew to a close with a prize draw in a boat shed Glyn said of the event: “It was a really good day.”
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.