Crowds of people jumped at the opportunity to board a lifeboat and explore how the Hastings team of lifesavers work at the station’s open day.
Steve Warne, coxswain and boat mechanic of the Hastings Lifeboat Station, beside the Stade beach in the Old Town, said the once-a-year event had been a great success.
“We normally have two opportunities each year when the public can climb all over the boats,” he said, “but this is the main event.
“It went very well – we had people coming from all over the county.”
The second open event comes during Old Town week, but only runs for a few hours.
On Sunday (September 6), the station opened its doors from 10am-4pm and greeted hundreds of curious visitors.
Around £1,500 was raised through donations and sales in the Hastings Royal National Lifeboat Institution shop.
Crew members were on hand to explain their work, and some new volunteers expressed interest in joining the team on the day.
The Hastings lifeboat crew always needs new volunteers but prefers not to advertise, relying on locals who live within five or ten minutes of the station to come of their own interest.
“We prefer the people that make the first move themselves,” Steve said.
There are currently 18 seagoing crew members and 14 launch crew, as well as about 25 shopworkers and stewards involved with the lifeboat station.
Anyone interested in joining must be willing to give a couple of hours a week for training, and be ready to be on call.
“An understanding boss always helps, too,” said Steve, pointing out the lifeboat team are volunteers who work alongside their main jobs and family lives.
For information about joining contact the Hastings Lifeboat Station on: 01424 720828, or visit: www.hastingslifeboat.org.uk/contact.
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