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Stan visits Whitstable RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

It is probable that every lifeboat station has its share of young supporters and the crew and volunteers at Whitstable are no exception frequently taking the time to introduce younger generations to the work of the station and RNLI.

Whitstable lifeboat crewmember Ollie Myhill shows Stan Millar, nine around the lifeboat station.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Whitstable lifeboat crewmember Ollie Myhill shows Stan Millar, nine around the lifeboat station
And this was exactly the case last week during half term. lifeboat helmsman Ben Crosswell was just leaving the boathouse on Friday evening when he was approached by a young lad and his parents enquiring as to when the stations souvenir shop would be open.

Noting that the lad was obviously an avid supporter with his RNLI beanie hat and was holding one of the Corgi Shannon models in his hand, Ben advised them that the shop should be open over the weekend and as he did not have the time to show them around the station he said he would ask the crew to keep a lookout for them if they came around on Sunday morning and that the boat may well launch on exercise around 10-ish.

Sure enough on Sunday, nine-year old Stan Millar and his parents Anna and Mervyn from Wimbledon found themselves back at the station eager to visit the shop and perhaps get a tour of the station and see the lifeboat launch at first hand.

Mum Anna said “We are down for a long weekend and have been to Whitstable several times but have not yet seen the lifeboat”

They were not to be disappointed; after being introduced to crewmember Ollie Myhill, Stan said “ I have taken an interest in lifeboats after visiting the Littlehampton lifeboat and watching ‘Saving Lives at Sea’. Since then we have visited several stations in Devon and Cornwall but have never seen one launch and I have collected several lifeboat models and souvenirs”.

Ollie then took the family on a tour of the boat hall where the stations Atlantic 85 lifeboat Lewisco waited in its launching carriage and he was able to show Stan much of the equipment and gear used to get the boat to sea and whilst it is on a call.

Before long other members of the crew arrived and Stan was able to watch as they donned their dry suits whilst the launching tractor was started and the whole assembly moved out onto the ‘pad’ in front of the boathouse.

And shortly afterwards once the crew had climbed onboard the moment Stan and eagerly awaited Lewisco and her launching carriage were propelled down the beach and ‘launched on exercise’.

Anna said 'Being at the station on Sunday made our day, Stan was so excited when he got home he made a diorama for his model lifeboats'.

Said Stan who one day hopes he might live by the sea ‘It felt exhilarating to see the perfect launch and feel like I was in the RNLI’.

Looks like the RNLI have got a future volunteer and perhaps a crewmember!

Notes to editors

Whitstable RNLI Lifeboat Station was established in 1963 by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and is one of 237 lifeboat stations around the shores of the UK and Ireland. The volunteer crews provide a maritime search and rescue service for the Kent coast. They cover the area between the Kingsferry Bridge on the Swale, in the west, around the south-eastern side of Sheppey and along the coast through Whitstable and Herne Bay to Reculver in the east and outwards into the Thames Estuary.

The station is equipped with an Atlantic 85 lifeboat named Lewisco, purchased through a bequest of a Miss Lewis of London who passed away in 2006.

She is what is known as a rigid inflatable inshore lifeboat, the boat’s rigid hull being topped by an inflatable sponson. She carries a crew of four people.

RNLI media contacts

  • Chris Davey, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Whitstable Lifeboat Station.
    07741 012004/ [email protected]

  • Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer London/southeast/east Tel: 0207 6207416 Mob: (07785) 296252 [email protected]

  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

Stan Millar, nine and his Mum Anna watch as Whitstable lifeboat emerges from the boat hall.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Stan Millar, nine and his Mum Anna watch as Whitstable lifeboat emerges from the boat hall.
Stan Millar, nine watches as the Whitstable lifeboat is launched on exercise.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Stan Millar, nine watches as the Whitstable lifeboat is launched on exercise.
Whitstable lifeboat is launched on exercise.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Whitstable lifeboat is launched on exercise.
Stan Millar and his lifeboat diorama.

Anna McAvoy.

Stan Millar and his lifeboat diorama.

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 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.

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 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.