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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution - Saves Lives at Sea



"This year's annual Open Day will take place during the afternoon of Saturday, 17th July," explained Charlie Tulloch, Kinghorn Lifeboats' Operations Manager, "and we hope that as many people as possible will come along on what promises to be a very special and enjoyable day.".

The crews are hoping for an all-time high number of visitors when they open their doors to the public this year, as this is their major fund-raising event of the year and the busy station will play host to visitors of all ages, wishing to see the historic lifeboat up close and to meet the crew, men and women, who have already responded to numerous rescue calls this year.

"We always look forward to our annual Open Day," Charlie continued, "when we can show off the 'Frederick Robertson', our 24 ft long, Atlantic 75 rescue craft, the fastest in the RNLI fleet and capable of up to 34 knots. It allows people to see our boat, speak with the crews and have some good old fashioned fun and games."

"On 17th July the boat will be just one of the attractions on display, however," he added, "with a host of other activities, such as raft races, rescue displays, stalls and fun for everyone being laid on throughout the afternoon at the Lifeboat Station and adjacent beach area."

The RNLI operates more than 320 lifeboats throughout the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, launching on average 21 times and saving 2 lives every day of the year.

Many of the rescues involve people visiting the coast from inland, often ordinary people caught out by a change in the weather or an extra high tide, with nearly 2000 rescues last year also involving people in distress who were not on board a vessel of any kind but who had been cut off by high water, were swimmers, divers and others who had fallen off cliffs and piers.

"Last year nationally hundreds of lives were saved," Charlie added , "and everyone involved at Kinghorn is very proud of the contribution we make to the RNLI with the Atlantic 75 which is a far cry from the village's first-ever lifeboat back in the 1960's. Our first ever service call took place on 27th June, 1965, when the newly-arrived single-engined inflatable went to the aid of the Venus, a dismasted catamaran which was lying close to Inchkeith."

"During more recent times we have been involved in tragedies like the mail plane crash off Granton in February, 2001, while the record books show literally hundreds of launches through the years," added Charlie finally, "with the number of lives being saved standing testimony to the bravery and prompt actions of the crews past and present. With the long days of summer we can expect to be back in action, as this is our busiest period, but hopefully not during this year's Open Day!"

Lifeboat crews save lives, often in dangerous circumstances, but depend entirely on voluntary contributions and legacies to survive themselves. It costs more than £100 million a year to run a lifeboat service which is available round the clock and free of charge to those who need it.