A blustery afternoon on Sunday 19th August saw crowds gather at Anchor Head to observe the volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew, Coastguard Rescue Team and Coastguard Helicopter in action, demonstrating exercises both afloat and ashore.
The charity which is dedicated to saving lives at sea has been raising money towards its new station which will be built on the site of the old Cove Restaurant by Marine Lake. The public took a keen interest in the building plans which were on display for the first time.
The open day was conducted between two sites. Information on the RNLI, Sea Safety advice and activities for the family were carried out in front of the temporary lifeboat station at Knightstone, while static displays were created outside of the RNLI shop at Anchor Head.
The D class lifeboat ‘Anna Stock’ initially carried out manoeuvres afloat before being brought ashore by the crew to join the static displays. The public were then able to see the boat on its carriage, talk with the crew and have photographs taken.
The Atlantic 75 lifeboat ‘Paul Alexander’ which is a recent replacement boat for the now retired ‘Coventry and Warwickshire’, carried out exercises close to the shore for the public to observe man overboard drills, Kayak recovery and then an exercise with the Coastguard rescue team. This involved a crew member swimming ashore to be recovered through the surf by a four man team and placed onto a stretcher highlighting the different skills and techniques that are utilised.
With the weather improving after the drizzle in the morning, the search and rescue helicopter, ‘Coastguard 187’, was able to take off from its base across the Bristol Channel at St. Athan and head towards Weston. It met up with the Atlantic 75 crew and carried out winch lifts to and from the water and the lifeboat to demonstrate how the crews work closely together.
Andy Stone, Atlantic 75 Helm for the open day said ‘We are thankful for all the support and donations given on the day which go towards helping us to continue saving lives at sea. It was great to see so many people observing the demonstrations and taking a keen interest in the work that we do and the safety advice on offer’.
To find out how you can stay safe while enjoying your water activity, visit RespectTheWater.com