Lifesaving drills on display at Wells RNLI open day

The Wells Lifeboat crew performed a mock-up rescue for the crowd during the station's open day. Picture: Ian Burt

The life-saving skills, drills and equipment of the Wells lifeboat crew were displayed for the public during the station's annual open day.

Nicholas Allen (8) and coxswain Allen Frary at the The Wells Lifeboat Station open day. Picture: Ian Burt

The boathouse at the end of Beach Road hosted a steady stream of visitors on Sunday, eager to learn about the volunteer emergency outfit, and enjoy a burger from the team's barbecue.

Visitors were given guided tours of the technology aboard the town's Mersey-class all-weather lifeboat, while the inshore rescue boat was taken into the harbour for a 'man overboard' demonstration, in which the crew rescued one of their unfortunate colleagues.

The aim of the day was to raise awareness of the vital role of the RNLI in north Norfolk, and its reliance on donations and legacies to keep the charity afloat.

Wells lifeboat coxswain Allen Frary said: 'It is a showcase for the public. The public today have got a unique opportunity to look at the workings of the lifeboat station.

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'There are a few wives and family members here too. When the pager goes off everybody comes down here and the families are left at home, so they don't really know what goes on.

'The 'man overboard' drill is something we practice a lot and the kids get really into it. It is important, because they need to value what they see, and this is what the RNLI is all about. It is run on voluntary contributions and all the crew are volunteers. None of them get paid for this, but they all give up their time for it.'

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Among the visitors were Tim and Holly Allen from the nearby village of South Creake, with their children Nicholas, eight, and seven-year-old twins Elizabeth and Charlotte.

Mr Allen said it was important for his children to know about the volunteer work of the RNLI.

'We went and had a look around the boat and some of the old photographs and I was saying to the kids that these guys are the ones who get the call to go out in conditions when everyone else is coming back.

'We are always up here on the beach or at Holkham. It gives you peace of mind to know the lifeboat is here when the kids are playing on the beach they will know where to go for help when they need it.

'They are doing sterling work, considering they are a charity and not funded by the government.'

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