Exmouth RNLI volunteers celebrate Open Day success
On 21 August, the station’s volunteers opened the doors to their boathouse to welcome supporters visiting their Open Day. The total raised was just under £1,000 with donations still coming in. The event was well attended with the charity’s shop volunteers experiencing one of their busiest days.
Members of the Exmouth Lifeboat Fundraising Team organised various stalls and Crew wives and girlfriends (WAGS) ran a cheerful Jazzy Jar stall – a 50/50 chance to win a jar full of surprises. Coastal Safety volunteers were on hand to advise on lifejackets and other safety equipment and the Face2Face team were also present to discuss charity membership to help save lives at sea.
Visitors queued to look around Shannon class lifeboat R and J Welburn. Crew and lifeboat operations volunteers committed their Sunday to give tours of the state-of-the-art, water-jet powered lifeboat. Other Crew volunteers took part in a demonstration at 11.30am with RNLI Lifeguards in front of the lifeboat station. Exmouth Gig Rowing Club and Exmouth Coastguard team supported the event and Krispies provided a barbeque.
Former casualties: Jared Colclough, Dan Morton and Richard Smith parked their RNLI publicity vehicle by the shop to draw attention. Along with another friend, the trio’s lives had been the first saved by Crew volunteers aboard R and J Welburn on 12 April 2015. Since that date, they have been actively promoting the charity’s Respect The Water campaign to prevent similar incidents happening.
At 3.00pm, visitors were treated to another inshore lifeboat launch, this time on service. A yacht within sight of the lifeboat station was aground in the sand about 0.6 miles offshore. Volunteers heard the Pan Pan call for assistance over the radio and self-launched to help tow the casualty into the river Exe. Crew volunteers returned to station at 4.06pm, as visitors were leaving the event.
Exmouth Lifeboat Fundraising Team Chair, Don Hodgkinson praised the dedication of the volunteers:
‘We would like to thank everyone who visited our Open Day as without their support, our Crew volunteers would not be able to save lives at sea. Thank you to all the fundraising, shop and station volunteers who gave up their time on Sunday to raise an incredible amount of money. I would like to especially thank the Crew who spoke passionately to visitors about their roles and lifeboats on top of their regular training commitments and shouts during the busy summer season.’