Friday morning a couple of friends popped round for a cuppa. Little S had made some cupcakes before they arrived to share. We had a nice chat and a catch-up. After they’d gone we got ourselves sorted for our afternoon visit to Calshot to visit the RNLI. It had been arranged by another home educating mum and we were looking forward to making some new friends.
It was over an hours drive, so we left plenty of time. Upon arrival we met a family in cafe and got chatting. R got on well with the boy and they did some drawing together whilst we waited for the others to arrive.
After a short safety briefing we split into two groups to go and look at the boats. First we went to look at the smaller of their two boats. Learning how it navigates, where the first aid kit was stored and how fast it goes. Apparently it’s not very comfortable for the rescuers as they have to kneel the whole time.
Next we went to look at the bigger of the boats. This one had 2 motors instead of one, and real seats! The children all sat aboard the boat as they listened to rescuer talk about the boat, it’s kit and how it worked. E struggled quite a bit during the tour of the boats, partly I think due to the strong winds and loud noises of the masts of surrounding boats.
After looking at the boats we went inside and were talked through the personal protection equipment that the crew all have to wear. Some of the children got to try on the helmet. We learnt how many calls they get a year and how many are classed as rescues.
We found out that as they are a voluntary rescue service they have to abide by all laws, no racing through red lights to get to a rescue. And as volunteers they don’t get paid! There are just a few crews countrywide that are actually employed, the rest just do it out of the kindness of their hearts.
At the end the children asked how they could helped with fundraising. They were given some tiny jam jars to collect 5 pence pieces in. S came straight home and emptied her purse into the jar she had. We had a great afternoon at the RNLI and I think we all learnt something new.