Shad does the Shoreham RNLI lifeboat station

It was an incredibly bright day with almost no clouds in the atmosphere, and the sky and sea were virtually the same shade of pale blue.  The water glistened delicately in the sunlight which reflected off the features of the environment down at Shoreham Harbour.  These are great conditions if you want to sunbathe, but no so great if you want to take photographs because the camera does not differentiate well between the various structures in the landscape.  So John and I spent some time wandering around the grassy bank at the mouth of the River Adur, listening to the sound of children playing in the remains of a fort built over 150 years ago to defend the old trading port.  There was a long jetty for fishing and flint stone walls strengthened the coastline.  We watched the sail boats cruising gracefully out to sea and spotted an RNLI lifeboat station.

The doors were open and the bright orange boat was proudly displayed on the slipways, ready for action.  It’s a new Tamar all-weather lifeboat with a top speed of 25 knots enabling the crew to reach its casualty quickly and has shock absorbing seats to help the crew be more comfortable (if that’s possible on a choppy sea in a search and rescue mission).  The local community raised the funds necessary to knock down the old lifeboat station which was inadequate and prone to flooding and replace it with a modern facility that opened in 2010.  The boat is named Enid, after the lady whose generous legacy funded a large portion of its £2.7million purchase price.

We also took a trip to the airfield and a stroll along the river.  The airfield was busy that day and we spotted a few choppers and plenty of light aircraft with three-bladed propellers and the odd bi-plane.  The tide was out so the river was not at its prettiest, with mostly mudflats and silt on view which looked like brown sludge.  There were lots of pools of water where the seagulls gathered to bathe, ruffling their feathers and flapping around, making a right old song and dance of it.  I flicked my tail at them disdain and trotted back to the car.  John had a hankering for an ice-cream and I quite fancied a lick of it so we set off on our next mission to find an ice-cream van.

Shad Does The Selsey Lifeboat Day

Cats don’t usually like water.  The closest I’ll come to it, apart from drinking it, is when I perform one of my mad dashes through the shower when John’s about to go in there.  I consider it an integral part of my exercise regime and it gives me a buzz to see if I can run across the shower tray before the water hits it.  Don’t know why, just does!

Anyway, there’s a big puddle of water at the beach that you’ll never catch me in.  Its very popular with humans who enjoy swimming in this salty wet stuff during the warm weather.

But when you come a cropper at sea, who will come to your rescue?  Its the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.  And last weekend the Selsey RNLI put on their lifeboat launch day with lots of exciting activities including a lifeboat launch and rescue display, a raft race,

http://www.selseylifeboats.co.uk/

and an incredible parachute display by the talented ‘Tigers’ (from The Princess of Wales Royal Regiment’s parachute display team).  As part of the army, they are used to carrying out their duties on land, but did a grand job of getting their feet wet today.

My most memorable moment is the HM Coastguard Helicopter which flew in to help with the rescue display.  Its got an on-board automatic vessel identification system and loads of other 21st century techy stuff that makes it ideal for helping people in distress at sea.

The brave crews and dedicated staff at the RNLI consist mostly of volunteers and the organisation is entirely supported by voluntary contributions.  Their rescue equipment and kit is very expensive and last year they launched their lifeboat 27 times to help swimmers, kayakers, anglers and sailors out of trouble.

I captured some of the action on camera as you can see.  The boats kicked up quite a spray on the calm waters and I got a sore throat from meowing in support of the raft racers.  In case you’re wondering, I make it across the shower without getting wet almost every time!

http://www.selseylifeboats.co.uk/