September 2015 update

2015 09 065132web

Ewen Menzies takes the helm whilst training in Dartmouth harbour.
Operational update September 2015.
It was suggested in the August Ops update that life was surprisingly quiet for the lifeboat crew. We should have known better. Since the end of July there have been 11-call outs.
The one that reached the national Press concerned the rescue of a steer that fell from the cliffs into the sea near Compass Cove. The general opinion is that the lifeboat should launch, even to save the life of animals, if the owner asks for help or is seen to be putting their own life in danger by trying to perform the rescue themselves. Fortunately the animal was a good swimmer, although wedging his head in a narrow sea cave and having to be extricated shows a general lack of navigational ability.
On a more serious note, the lifeboat was launched at 9pm on Bank Holiday Monday to four young men on three paddleboards and a sit-on kayak. They were attempting to paddle back upstream to Dittisham at night, in total darkness and against a strong ebb tide. They had no lights or means of communication. They were not wearing lifejackets and were only wearing shorts and tee shirts. One had already fallen off his board as the lifeboat approached. They were persuaded to allow the lifeboat crew to take their boards to the lifeboat station overnight for safekeeping and were issued with life jackets before being taken upstream to their destination.
They were duly contrite when they returned the next day to collect their boards and one has offered to talk to the RNLI in support of the organisation’s Respect the Water campaign. The incident has been put forward as “Four lives saved” but this has yet to be endorsed by RNLI HQ at Poole.
John Fenton
RNLI Dart Lifeboat Press Officer
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Fundraising Update
We have had a very good summer for fundraising. Taking into account the Flag Day collection, the Fete, Rockfish donations, first year memberships generated by the Face to Face team at various events and of course the profits from the Visitor Centre shop, I estimate we have probably raised in the region of £17,000 in the last two months. Well done to everyone for your help and support.
Our relationship with Sainsburys as their charity of the year grows apace. The bingo night last week raised over £400, which included an excellent Raffle. The total raised so far is over £800. There will be a quiz night on Sunday 20 September in Sainsburys cafeteria starting at 7pm. Tickets are only £4 on the door and that includes excellent free food and refreshments. Later in the year they are holding their giant Christmas bingo evening at Townstal Community Hall on 29 November. This will be a very lively night.
Our own Christmas Dinner for all supporters will be either 3 or 10 December, probably at the Royal Castle. Keep the dates in your diary and watch this space for further details.
We also have a bag packing and bucket collection at M&S on Friday 23 October from 10 to 2pm. If you can spare an hour please contact me on ed.featherstone@btinternet.com  or 07889953974
Ed Featherstone
Branch Chairman
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Dartmouth Visitor Centre September update

Visitors to our centre continue to increase and sales have improved week on week throughout the summer giving us an excellent start to business. We are now seeing weekly sales figures of between £1500 and £2000 with an excellent Regatta week figure of £2585.
Our volunteer team regularly receive very positive and enthusiastic comments about the VC and visitors are excited about seeing the experience half, once it opens.
The design team, Edge, along with the design team from RNLI HO, will be visiting the centre on 25 September to agree the final layout and content for the visitor experience. Once all the fine detail has been agreed at this visit the building of the displays will commence, although some parts are already being constructed. The displays and content already seen on the plans will offer a wide range of interesting information and interactive activities for all ages and show the varying aspects of the RNLI both present day and historically.
At this time we should also be given a firm opening date that we still hope to be in time for October half term and Food Festival week. I have been told that there is a possibility that the opening date may slip back to the first week in November but I am continuing to press for the earlier date. The centre will need to close for a week to allow for construction but I have advised HO that should the opening date slip back we will not be closing during half term or Food Festival week as this will be an extremely busy time for us.
My team of volunteers are now well at home in the centre and their commitment, enthusiasm and interaction with the general public are the reason for our immediate success. We still have room for more volunteers to join us, either to work in the shop or to spend their time interacting with visitors. We need volunteers who are able to expand on the information available and who will enjoy sharing their knowledge and experiences of the RNLI with the general public. Amanda and I will be arranging training sessions for this so no previous knowledge or experience is imperative. Further details will be available in the near future, however, anyone who has not already registered an interest can contact me either by visiting the VC and leaving their details or contact me by email – tracey.lucas@hotmail.co.uk
In
the mean time we will be holding a get together for our existing volunteers on Thursday 24th starting at 6pm at the VC and continuing later at the Dartmouth Yacht Club. This will give me the opportunity to thank them for their work so far, to share experiences, give feed back and share suggestions for the future.

Tracey Lucas
Visitor Centre Manager

Posted on Wed 16 Sep 2015 by John Fenton RNLI Lifeboat Press officer

A charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SCO37736). Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland  I  RNLI (Trading) Ltd - 01073377, RNLI (Sales) Ltd - 2202240 and RNLI (Enterprises) Ltd - 1784500 are all companies registered at West Quay Road, Poole BH15 1HZ. Images & copyright © RNLI 2008.