Stan visits Whitstable RNLI
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.
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
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.
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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.