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lifeboat and hovercraft stations welcome RNLI VIPs
lifeboat and hovercraft stations opened their doors to two VIPs
from the Poole headquarters of the RNLI this week when Operations
Director Michael Vlasto and Divisional Inspector Simon Pryce visited
The pair, pictured above, took part in an hour-long operational
trip onboard the Staines Whitfield lifeboat to observe
areas of difficulty along the local shoreline and then discussed
latest advances in life-saving with the crew.
also spent time with Burnham's lifeboat operations manager Martin
Cox and lifeboat chairman Tony Winterburn.
in the afternoon, they visited the BARB hovercraft station and
got a close-up view of the Spirit Of Lelaina hovercraft and discussed
mud rescues with chairman Alan Miller, BARB President Cllr Neville
Jones and pilot Pete Emery.
event ended up at Burnham-On-Sea Sailing Club with a buffet where
Mr Vlasto gave an upbeat speech praising the work of all the sea
rescue services in Burnham.
the after-buffet speeches, Mr Winterburn also praised the success
of Jendy Weekes and Catriona Newman in co-ordinating the newly
formed Supporters' Group, which has continued to raise the public
profile of the station.
Cox referred to the superb team skills of the 45 well-trained
volunteers at the station, the Web site maintained by Mark Newman,
and the welcome interest shown by the various media groups thanks
to the work of press officer Mike Lang.
Jones gave a short speech, concurring with the previous two speakers,
and making reference to the previous lifeboat station which was
abandoned by the RNLI when it left Burnham in 1930. He also reminded
everyone that donations from the public continue to be so vital
to the livelihoods of Burnham's rescue services.
Vlasto, having done his homework, followed on with the information
that the original station had been built in 1906 at a cost to
the RNLI of only £600.
also talked about how the RNLI had changed since he joined the
organisation in 1974 when boats were sparsely equipped and the
service was financially stretched, causing great concern.
said; "Now, the service has made great advances, with bigger
and faster boats kitted out with modern equipment."
RNLI provides the best kit available for crew, because you cant
go second-best where peoples lives are at risk."
added: "The innovative spirit exists at Burnham-On-Sea. The
whole group feels more like a traditional lifeboat station with
a large proficient shore crew and every member of the station
is a credit to the service."
closed with the words: "The lifeblood of this institution
are the volunteers. Thank you for your support, you do it brilliantly,
and best wishes for the future!"
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