DOZENS of people braved the cold to watch their lifeboat heroes take to the water.
Hayling Island’s RNLI lifeboat station threw open its doors at the weekend as part of a national fundraising day.
To help raise money for the station, in Bracklesham Road, lifeboat crews held a daring rescue demonstration in front of scores of onlookers yesterday.
The event formed part of the RNLI’s national SOS fundraising day.
Youngsters were given the chance to meet the crew members and learn all about the work they do.
Hayling Island’s lifeboat operations manager Jonathan Bradbury said: ‘It has been a great day.
‘The weather has been very kind to us and it is good to see so many people come down and visit us on a cold winter’s day.
‘SOS is a national event organised by the RNLI with the aim of raising funds.
‘It’s great because, like our other open days, it gives the public a chance to come down and meet the crews and find out a bit more about what we do here.
‘They also get to see the boats in action, which is great.’
The Hayling Island lifeboat station costs around £80,000 to run each year.
Last year its volunteer members were called out to 90 different emergencies.
They were also called out on Saturday to help a stricken yacht while preparing for the open day,
Sandra Sampson was standing on Hayling beach on Sunday with her husband George to watch the lifeboat demonstration.
The 61-year-old, of Southwood Road, said: ‘Watching the lifeboats doing their routine was lovely.
‘We’ve not been down here before because we are new to the area so it was nice to see a bit of what goes on.
‘I think the work these people do is very admirable and it’s a good job they are here to do what they do.
‘It’s very nice of them to invite everyone to meet them in this way.’
Hayling lifeboat crews were recently given a funding boost from the family of Jason Matthews, a 22-year-old who died in a car crash.
Their £4,000 donation in his memory meant the Hayling Island RNLI station could afford 10 new lifejackets.