Camberley & District Probus Club

Visit to the RNLI College & Poole Harbour Cruise, 16th May 2023

Photos: Brian McGibbon & Stephen Bishop

Article: Stephen Bishop

A great visit to Poole with a full coach of 53 people. The weather man kept his promise and delivered us a glorious sunny day to make the most of this seaside visit.

The day was in two halves, a guided tour around the RNLI College and a boat cruise on Poole Harbour.

The RNLI tour was a fascinating insight to both the RNLI and the operation of the college. The RNLI costs about £500,000 a day to run, which is all financed by donations and legacies. The college had very impressive hands-on training facilities dealing with all types of modern technology which is now fitted to lifeboats. A number of us had a hands-on experience in the simulator which was an incredibly realistic trip of a rescue out of Dover Harbour. We were shown the pool where life raft and class B lifeboat capsize training takes place. From a quiet sunny afternoon, the simulated environment can rage up a significant gale and wild water in darkness in the middle of the night. There was some equally impressive huge diesel engines in the workshop which we were taken round. On the view from the upper floor, we were shown the wider and very extensive RNLI estate based here in Poole, including where they build their own life boats. A new class 7 boat will cost about £2m to build.

The cruise round Poole Harbour was equally impressive from a scenic point of view. From the Town Quay, where we started, we headed out past Brownsea Island and Castle, before going out through the narrow entrance into the bay with views to the Isle of Wight, Studland Beach and Old Harry Rocks.

In between, a number of us had an excellent fish and chips lunch and well earnt beer at the Jolly Sailor pub on the Town Quay.

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