Visitors experience drama of Hayling Island RNLI lifeboat volunteers in action

TEAM Front, senior helmsman Paul Lewis with, from left, Dave Dewar, Daniel MacPherson and Andrew Altendorff. Pictures: ''Malcolm Wells (122525-3846)
TEAM Front, senior helmsman Paul Lewis with, from left, Dave Dewar, Daniel MacPherson and Andrew Altendorff. Pictures: ''Malcolm Wells (122525-3846)
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HAYLING Island RNLI lifeboat station opened its doors – and the public poured in.

More than 600 people dropped by, curious to see the workings of a busy lifeboat station.

FAST-MOVING An air and sea demonstration. (122525-3782)

FAST-MOVING An air and sea demonstration. (122525-3782)

Visitors came from as far afield as Johannesburg in South Africa for the exciting event which saw some real action when the lifeboats had to be launched several times.

The highlight of the afternoon was a fly-past by the Coastguard Helo 104 helicopter accompanying the two lifeboats.

Four-year-old Milo Grant-Turton from Liss Forest is a member of the RNLI Storm Force Club for children, and told the lifesavers he is intent on visiting all the RNLI stations in the UK.

He said: ‘I want to be a lifeguard when I grow up. This is so exciting.’

So far he has visited Tenby, Poole and now Hayling Island.

Other visitors were from Reading, Basingstoke, Manchester and even Dubai.

Alex Reid from Coventry said: ‘It’s a great privilege to see the RNLI Lifeboat crew in action. They do such a valuable job in saving lives.’

Families enjoyed the quizzes and competitions, demonstrations and stunning model lifeboats.

Organiser Nigel Roper said: ‘We were lucky with the weather and the bonus was the helicopter fly-past. Our thanks go to Solent Coastguard for arranging it.’

The day ended for the crew when they were called out at 10.30pm to help a fishing boat with engine problems.

A father and son were stranded near Emsworth harbour after their boat broke down. They were towed to their mooring at Northney, Hayling Island.

The event on Sunday raised £1,500 for the RNLI.