Stormy Stan's Storm Force members get a taste of the action

Junior club members of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s Stormforce enjoyed an exciting visit to a Lancashire lifeboat station.

Fifty youngsters, aged five to 11, saw the all-weather lifeboat (ALB) crew setting out to rescue a broken down yacht in the Irish Sea during their tour around of the Boathouse at Lytham St

The children, all members of Stormy
Stan’s Storm Force, were accompanied by their parents and guardians on the behind-the-scenes visit.

The special day included a quiz, dressing up in lifeboat gear and
talks on the history of the station and the role Lytham St. Annes
lifeboats played in the worst disaster ever in lifeboat history – the
Mexico disaster of 1886.

The children’s excitement was raised several notches within five
minutes as the volunteer crew’s pagers sounded to request the lifeboat
launch to a broken down yacht.

All the youngsters moved quickly to the
designated safe area. With enough crew being present the children got
an unexpected first hand view as the lifeboatwas drawn out of the boathouse behind the tractor and set off for the waters edge.

The broken down vessel, an eight metre (27 foot) yacht was eight miles
out in the Irish Sea with two people on board.

The lifeboat towed the stricken craft into the river Ribble, where the Lytham St Annes
inshore lifeboat (ILB) took over and placed the yacht on a mooring off Lytham Town.

The two occupants
decided to stay on board until they could arrange repairs. 

Meanwhile back at the Storm Force rally, the children enjoyed their visit despite being
unable to look over the lifeboat. Most seemed to think it was a
good excuse to come again.

When the ALB returned to the
station, a few of the Storm Force children who had
been able to stay on managed to have their own
guided tour round the boat.

Lifeboat visits officer Irene Kilroy said: ‘I have been waiting for
17 years for this to happen when a party of children has been visiting
the boathouse and at last it has.

‘We managed to keep them entertained
despite the lifeboat being absent and they all enjoyed themselves.’

Click here to find out more about Storm Force.

(Picture: The stricken yacht under tow back to Lytham. Credit: RNLI/Gary Dickerson)