Boat demos, tours, instruction and more

An exciting array of events have been confirmed for the RNLI Open Days in Poole on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 July.

Visitors to the charity’s headquarters will have the chance to see and discover everything about the RNLI – from what life is like on the front line for RNLI lifeboat crews and lifeguards, to its heritage and technical details.

Every current class of RNLI lifeboat, including the hovercraft, will be taking part in displays over the weekend.

The RNLI’s sea survival centre will be hosting various survival displays and will show the public how crew members are trained to deal with a lifeboat capsize.

RNLI Lifeguards will be patrolling a purpose built beach, complete with sand and model boat pond, and will be on hand to encourage everyone to be ‘Beachwise’ this summer by offering advice about how to stay safe at the seaside.

They will also be demonstrating their lifesaving skills on the shore, where rescue boards and rescue water bikes will also be on display.

Linda Vatcher, RNLI’s organiser of the Open Days, says: “Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a volunteer lifeboat crew member, to wear a pager day and night and always be ready to drop everything to help others in trouble at sea? Or wondered about the tough training people have to go through in order to become RNLI Lifeguards?

“We hope that by opening up the doors to the RNLI’s headquarters in Poole, the Open Days will really help to bring to life what goes on behind the scenes at the charity. There will be lifeboat crew members and lifeguards on hand to chat about their experiences, offer safety advice and give demonstrations of rescue scenarios.”

There will be a virtual ‘lifeboat station’ on site offering visitors the chance to wander round and get a feel of where lifeboat crew get ready for a shout and wind down after a rescue.

There will also be face-painting, a chance to discover the RNLI’s rich heritage, a photo gallery of RNLI’s past and present, model lifeboats and much more.

The entrance fee is £1, while children under five go free.

Limited parking will be available on site on a first-come, first-served basis. People are encouraged to use public transport to get to the event. The RNLI building is based close to Poole train station and Poole bus station.

Each day the HQ is open from 10am to 6pm.

www.rnli.org.uk