The vital life-saving work of Lowestoft’s RNLI volunteers has been experienced at first hand by people from the town.

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On Saturday the Lowestoft RNLI station threw its doors open to the public for its fundraising SOS Day.

A steady stream of people visited the lifeboat station and also clambered about the Spirit of Lowestoft lifeboat, which has been involved in many dramatic rescues in its 27 year history.

And some of those launches featured in a display of call-outs the lifeboat crew has been involved in, including last month’s rescue operation when the workcat ECC Topaz burst into flame and sank nine miles of Lowestoft.

As well as showing people the work of the station’s 18-strong volunteer crew, the SOS Day also saw more than £200 raised in donations and from fun activities such as a Play Your Cards Right Game and a tombola, which were manned by members of the station’s fundraising committee.

Keith Lightfoot, the station’s deputy launching authority officer, said: “Today is important as it raises the awareness of the job we do here and shows how we appreciate the fantastic support we receive from people in the town every year.”

During 2013 the Spirit of Lowestoft was launched 23 times, resulting in 44 people being saved.

Among the people taking advantage of the chance to tour the Tyne class all-weather lifeboat was Clem Jones, 46 and from Pakefield, and his twin 10-year-old sons Dylan and Evan,

Mr Jones said: “From Pakefield we often see the lifeboat churn up and down the coast. It is nice to bring the boys here so they can see the fantastic work they guys do here.”

At Saturday’s SOS Day event, people could also find out about the Spirit of Lowestoft’s replacement - a new £1.5 Shannon class lifeboat, which is due to arrive at some point this year.

Susan Sewell, from the fundraising committee, said; “it is nice that people can get down here and see for themselves what goes on here.”

A spokesman for the lifeboat station added: The lifeboat fundraising committee reported a steady stream of visitors throughout the day - probably encouraged by the sunny weather.

“The volunteer crew were also kept busy showing people over the Spirit of Lowestoft and the day raised more than £200 for the RNLI charity, which will help it to continue to saves lives at sea.”

■ The next fundraising event for Lowestoft’s lifeboat station is a fish and chip evening on Monday, February 24 at The Barnby Swan with entertainment by The Longshoremen. Ring 01502 475141 for more information.

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