Lifeboat Station’s Carnival Entry Became a Float Rather than Afloat

26th August 2013

Cowes RNLI lifeboat station promoted their Bank Holiday open day by for the first time taking part in the town’s illuminated carnival.

To carry out their promotion the crew borrowed a trailer-borne D class inflatable and 4 x 4 vehicle from the East Cowes-based Inshore Lifeboat Centre.  Using a shed at Shepards Wharf,  they decorated the boat with lights loaned by the Island Sailing Club and by affixing ‘waves’ to the sides made of painted cardboard.


The lights, plus suitable on-board music arranged by crewman Peter Tarrant, were powered by a generator provided by crewman Pete Cunningham.

As the float joined the procession through the streets on Saturday evening crew members, including the main organiser, Steve Price, handed out leaflets advertising the station’s open day, as well as helping to collect money for the carnival committee. Before setting off they learned their entry had won a ‘second in its class’ award. 

Partly as a result of the unusual advertising campaign Monday’s open day  was the most popular since the station opened just over a year ago. Many of the visitors were families with young children who eagerly took up the invitation to colour in pictures and participate in a written quiz.

Another attraction was the sight of the lifeboat being launched for a practice ‘man overboard’ demonstration just off The Parade. There were also many volunteers on hand to explain how boat and station operated.

Just as the Open Day was drawing to a close the lifeboat was launched for a real shout, or rather two shouts. Just after 2 pm the lifeboat was tasked to, first, deal with a 30 foot yacht aground at Thorness and another yacht that had broken down off Egypt Point . But they found that the yacht at Thorness had floated free on the rising tide, and the other boat had been taken in tow by a marine services craft.


Author: George Chastney

Photo Credit: Nick Edwards