DRAMATIC rescue demonstrations thrilled crowds at a lifeboat station’s open day.
Hundreds of people gathered at the Portsmouth RNLI lifeboat station, in Ferry Road, Eastney, yesterday to meet the heroes of the sea.
Lifeboat crews put on mock rescues for visitors along with the coastguard’s search and rescue helicopter from Lee-on-the-Solent.
Meanwhile families were able to take part in a number of children’s activities and fun games.
RNLI organiser Alex Seed said: ‘It’s really good to be able to get out here and meet people from the area.
‘We’re hidden away a bit over here and some people don’t realise there is a lifeboat station here.
‘So it’s good to be able to encourage people to come along and say hello.
‘People are having a good time and the helicopter demonstration was fantastic.
‘The kids have absolutely loved it and it looks like we’ve got more people here than last year.’
Amelia Gould, 34, of Waverley Road, Southsea, brought her two-year-old son Dylon along to see the action taking place in Langstone Harbour.
Dylon’s dad James is an RNLI crewman at the station.
Amelia said: ‘It’s been a really nice day.
‘It’s the first time we have come down to one of these events and Dylon is really enjoying himself.
‘He was really excited about seeing the helicopter.’
Lifeboat volunteers took part in an annual hot dog eating competition before lining up to get wet in a dunking tank.
The crews then took part in a race to see which team could overturn a capsized lifeboat the fastest.
The Portsmouth City Band was provided live music all day and firefighters from Southsea fire station spent the afternoon showing children round their vehicles.
RNLI helmsman Simon Matthews said: ‘It’s been a brilliant day.
‘I was winched up into the coastguard helicopter pretending to be an injured person and that was quite good.
‘There’s a lot of people here and it’s really nice to be able to get out and meet everyone.’