Fraserburgh RNLI welcome pupils from Rathen
Fraserburgh RNLI had a great visit on Friday afternoon 29 September from the Primary 3 to 5 class at Rathen School who came along with their teacher Mrs Jacqueline Duthie and two parent helpers.
Coxswain Vic Sutherland welcomed everyone to the station and introduced volunteer crew member Ricky Morrice and volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Billy Watson.
Vic told them about the origins of the RNLI, and the high and low points in the history of Fraserburgh Lifeboat.
The youngsters were fascinated to learn about the different types of lifeboats and the equipment that the RNLI uses. They also learned about the training that the RNLI volunteers undergo and the challenges that they face when responding to emergencies.
School visits to RNLI lifeboat stations help children to learn about water safety.
The RNLI is a leading provider of water safety education, and Vic explained to the children how to stay safe around water.
During the visit, Vic told the class about the different types of water hazards, how to spot them, and what to do if they get into trouble.
He always tells visitors of all ages what they should do in an emergency and always stresses that if they see any one in trouble in the water that they should phone 999 and asked for the coastguard.
The whole class was quiet and you could have heard a pin drop as Vic told the story of when the lifeboat saved a boy and a girl from the local beach a few years ago.
At the start of the summer holidays a group of youngsters had gone to the beach and were playing in the water when two of them, a boy and a girl had got into trouble. The sea was dragging them away from the shore and they couldn’t get back and kept disappearing beneath the waves.
A girl on the shore had been on a lifeboat visit a few weeks earlier and had remembered what Vic had told her to do if she ever saw anyone in the water.
She immediately phoned 999 and called the coastguard for help. Because she knew what to and gave the coastguard the right information the lifeboat launched immediately and was able to get there just in the nick of time to rescue the two children and save them from drowning.
Everyone was pleased and relieved that there had been a good outcome.
Vic described how quickly all the crew had responded to their pagers going off that day and then passed his own pager as well as Ricky’s and Billy’s around the class to set off a test signal to show everyone how the crew are alerted.
To show how quickly a crew member gets changed into their lifeboat gear whenever they arrive at the station the class teacher Mrs Jacqueline Duthie was volunteered to demonstrate.
She fairly rose to the challenge, and on the word ‘go’ set off at a cracking pace quickly climbing into the yellow gear and with the class shouting out the passing seconds smashed the record for visitors in an incredible 28seconds to the cheers and delight of her pupils.
Vic was able to describe all the developments in lifeboat design and lifesaving techniques and equipment over the years and was able to show the pupils the current Fraserburgh lifeboat, the Trent Class ALB Willie and May Gall which has been here since 2002.
Unfortunately conditions ruled out the pupils getting aboard that afternoon.
They were also able to examine the Lifeboat Memorial Statue, raised in memory of the thirteen local lifeboat crewmen who have died in three separate Fraserburgh Lifeboat Disasters.
Vic had already told them about the disasters and what happened on each occasion in 1919, 1953 and 1970 when the lifeboats had capsized.
Looking at the statue gave everyone a chance to reflect on the ultimate sacrifice made by these lifeboatmen and the tragedy of them losing their own lives when they were on their way to save the lives of others.
At the end of the visit Vic and Ricky handed out Respect the Water badges and RNLI Supermarket Trolley Buttons to all the pupils
Coxswain Vic Sutherland said that it had been a really good visit and they had thoroughly enjoyed telling the pupils from Rathen all about the lifeboat.
“They’re a really good bunch and seemed really interested in everything we told them. It was great to give the children a behind-the-scenes look at our RNLI lifeboat station in a fun and educational way and at the same time getting across important key messages about water safety.
We were also able to raise their awareness of the RNLI and the work we do in saving lives at sea. “
Notes to editors
· Fraserburgh lifeboat station has been operating since 1858. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to:https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeboat-stations/fraserburgh-lifeboat-station
RNLI media contacts
Billy Watson, Lifeboat Press Officer, [email protected]
Stuart Fenty, Lifeboat Press Officer, [email protected]
Natasha Bennett, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 07826 900639, [email protected]
Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 07920 365929, [email protected]
RNLI Press Office, 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.
Learn more about the RNLI
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