It’s our way of thanking the public for their support and having a bit of fun

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A LIFEBOAT station opened its doors and welcomed members of the community at its summer open day on Sunday.

Scores of people made the most of a break in the weather to enjoy some time at the beach on Hayling Island and paid a visit to the lifeboat station.

(left to right) Layla Moloney (6), Andy Moloney (33), and Elise Moloney (2) at the Hayling Island RNLI family fun day''''Picture: Malcolm Wells (132095-4904)

(left to right) Layla Moloney (6), Andy Moloney (33), and Elise Moloney (2) at the Hayling Island RNLI family fun day''''Picture: Malcolm Wells (132095-4904)

The RNLI held games, put on displays and provided delicious lunches and homemade cakes to raise money and awareness for the station.

Deputy launching authority at the station Peter Walmsley, from Hayling Island, said: ‘Days like these are great as they allow us to show off to the public and allow them to see us at work and at play.

‘We need the support of the public, especially here at Hayling Island as we have such a big crew.

‘We have 21 boat crew and 15 shore crew and the more support we can get, the more we can help the public.’

Throughout the day the crew held three lifeboat launches and three kit races to demonstrate how fast the crew can get into their kit when they get to the station.

Alan Bartlett, communications manager at the station, said: ‘We saw people from as far as Reading, Oxford and London coming along to see what we can do.

‘It was very well attended and we must have seen over 400 people throughout the day.

‘We had various stalls, with model lifeboats on and games such as hook a duck and throw a rope, and also an educational table, and we gave people guided tours.

‘We also provided refreshments and asked people to make a donation, whatever they feel they can afford.

‘It’s not particularly a money-making scheme, although we usually do quite well, it’s more about having a bit of fun and giving people a bit of excitement.

‘It’s our way of thanking them for all their support throughout the year.’

The Scouts and the Fire Brigade were also at the day to show their support.

Andy Moloney was on holiday and visiting the station with his family - wife Claire, daughters Elise, six, and Layla, two, and mother and father-in-law Doug and Jane Harding.

Andy, from Guildford, said: ‘It’s great.

‘We have seen somebody being retrieved from the sea before so we have seen first hand the good work the station does.

‘Anything to support the lifeboats and we are there.