1st May 2017
Concerned there was no official RNLI book for young children about the lifesaving activities of an inshore lifeboat persuaded the Visits Team at Cowes lifeboat station to become ‘do-it- yourselfers’.
The first three samples of the ground-breaking publication were hurriedly prepared in time for the station’s crowd-pulling SOS Day yesterday (Sunday).
One copy was given to Bertha Pollock, who had donated the cost of the station’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat in memory of her daughter, Sheena Louise; another was given to Sheena’s sister, Lorna Cox, who had officially named the lifeboat back in 2012 – while the third was received by the station’s Operations Manager, Mark Southwell.
Visits Officer, Penny Maclean, said: “We looked for a young children’s illustrated book about an inshore lifeboat, but only found books about the larger all-weather lifeboats. So we solved the problem by producing a book of our own, which we plan to read to children at the station and when we visit local schools.
“It not only describes a typical rescue, but also puts over the message about water and beach safety.”
Responsible for the text was visits member Judy Ottaway, with some help from other team members, and the eye-catching illustrations were done by crew-member and local artist, Rowena Wright.
Although the poor weather meant little use was made of The Parade for SOS activities, apart from East Cowes Branch members gamely running a ‘head-on- wellie’ competition, the lifeboat station itself proved very popular with the public.
Children received plenty of water-safety messages, the voluntary Needles Coastwatch had a display, visits to the station were made by other lifeboat crews, the Cowes Guild helped with refreshments, and Eegons café provided much-appreciated sandwiches and cakes for the large army of volunteers.
Author: George Chastney, Lifeboat Press Officer
Photo Credit: RNLI/Nick Edwards
Illustrations: RNLI/Rowena Wright