2 February 2014
It was all-go for the RNLI at Cowes on Saturday, as members enthusiastically participated in the organisation’s nation-wide annual SOS Day.
Local firemen were persuaded to take the strain, visitors flocked to the station in unprecedented numbers, and the lifeboat crew were only too willing to demonstrate their man-overboard capabilities. Meanwhile the local Murray’s restaurant raised more funds for the charity with a ‘Soup and Sandwich’ offer, and another eatery, Eegon’s, delivered sandwiches for the crew at the station.
An unusual high-point of the station related attractions was a tug-of-war on The Parade. At one end of the rope were five retained firemen, who had brought along their appliance as backdrop; at the other were five lifeboat crew members. Of the three contests the ‘lifeboaters’ won two – but really this was more of a fun event than a test of muscular prowess.
The lifeboat crew also drew a crowd when they showed how they recover a person in the water; the ‘casualty’ being Robbie Southwell. There was more entertainment when the crew and their Atlantic 85 ‘Sheena Louise’ received an unexpected hose-down from the firemen. The least comfortable role for a crew member was, however, assumed by Graham Creagh, who walked about the town encased in the RNLI’s stiflingly heavy ‘Stormy Stan’ outfit.
Of the many visitors to the station was Natasha Lambert, the plucky 16 year old cerebral palsy yachtswoman who has been a valuable fund-raiser for the RNLI through her amazing exploits.
As well as being shown around the station by lifeboat members, visitors were able to part-
take in refreshments provided by Lynda Bird and Julia Mainstone, both members of the station’s growing visitor team.
Another Cowes SOS event was a quiz, staged at the Pier View public house earlier in the week.
Summing up the Cowes involvement in SOS Day, station operations manager Mark Southwell said: “It is undoubtedly the most successful Open Day we have staged, thanks in no small part to the way it was professionally organised by crew member Laura Hodd.
“And, thankfully my real fears that The Parade might become flooded by an usually high tide proved groundless. As a result both the fire brigade and HM Coastguards, not to mention the public, were able to support our event without any problem.”
Author: George Chastney, Lifeboat Press Officer.
Picture Credit: Nick Edwards, Deputy Launching Authority and George Chastney.