First lifeguard visitor centre opens in Cornwall
18 April 2019, 15:13 | Updated: 18 April 2019, 15:20
The official opening of the RNLI's new visitor experience centre at Fistral beach on Monday.
The new interactive visitor attraction is the first in the UK dedicated to lifeguards and safety alone.
Located on the first floor of the lifeguard unit at Fistral beach, this exciting new facility allows members of the public to find out more about the RNLI lifeguards safety and prevention work through fun, interactive displays with a panoramic view of the beach.
Visitors can try on lifeguard kit, sit on a rescue watercraft used to save people in the water, see the medical kit lifeguards use and watch footage of previous rescues.
They'll also be 'meet the lifeguards' and 'meet the lifeboat crew' boards, a 'dress the crew' game and highlights of the RNLI's lifeguarding history.
The centre will provide an engaging and educational experience where families visiting the local area can be equipped with the information required to stay safe when visiting the beach.
It will also be utilised as a community space by school groups and other outreach work to support the RNLI's work in communicating safety messages to the public.
Michael Charlton, RNLI Visitor Engagement Operations Manager, welcomed guests to the opening on Monday morning and introduced the visitor centre as a vital facility in supporting the local lifeguard teams with communicating safety messages, ensuring people are safe while enjoying Fistral beach.
The RNLI's Chief Executive Paul Boissier then explained the RNLI's wider safety and prevention work, and thanked the new volunteer team who will operate the centre and interact with the public daily.
The visitor centre was then officially opened by Paul Benney, a former lifeguard who has four decades of experience of lifesaving in Newquay previously working for the council, the RNLI and now volunteering for the local surf lifesaving club.
After Paul cut he ribbon, people were invited upstairs to take a look around.
RNLI lifeguards then carried out a demonstration on the beach.
The centre will be open from 12pm to 3pm Monday to Saturday.
We're still looking for new volunteers to help man the centre, if anybody is interested please contact Julie_evans@rnli.org.uk or 07818 688611 to find out more.