Cornwall Living 2016

National Maritime Museum Cornwall

Champion, conqueror, superman, idol – all of these words are alternatives to the word hero, but what better way to explain the term than by describing an ordinary person who leads an extraordinary life.

When applied to the search and rescue divisions responsible for some of the most spectacular rescues at sea, the title ‘hero’ is entirely justified.

An exhibition showcasing the work of the RNLI, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and HM Coastguard is offering an insight into the experiences of the men and women who put their own lives in danger to save others.“This is our biggest and most ambitious exhibition to date, but more importantly it is the first time anyone has celebrated the maritime rescue services in this way.”

The National Maritime Museum Cornwall, on Discovery Quay, in Falmouth, is currently hosting the Search and Rescue exhibition, which over two years will feature sea rescue demonstrations, ‘meet the crew’ days, and opportunities to board either an RNLI all weather lifeboat or 70 foot Sea King helicopter.

Ben Lumby, is the museum’s exhibitions manager and explained why it is so important to showcase the work of these emergency services: “This is our biggest and most ambitious exhibition to date, but more importantly it is the first time anyone has celebrated the maritime rescue services in this way,” he said.“Working with these incredible teams has been a true privilege; they have kindly allowed us to see inside their world and shown us they are real people doing an amazing job. They belong to different organisations and charities, but work as a team and you can be safe in the knowledge that if things do go wrong at sea, there’s a service that will be there for you.

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”Organising an interactive exhibition on such a grand scale has not been an easy task and has presented a number of practical difficulties, as the director of the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Jonathan Griffin, explained: “We knew we were ambitious when plans for developing this new exhibition evolved years ago. We could never have dreamed of achieving the calibre of exhibition reached, let alone squeezing a 21m long, six tonne Sea King in our exhibition.“It has been made possible with the support and funding of the RNLI, RNLI Heritage Trust, and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Objects have been loaned to us by the Ministry of Defence and work of AgustaWestland, the Royal Navy, RAF and many others.”The origins and development of search and rescue equipment will be showcased during the exhibition, including the

advanced technological apparatus used to save lives today.

There will also be details of the famous Helstonian, Henry Trengrouse, who devised a method to save lives by means of a rocket and line fired from the shore to a vessel in distress.The chance to become a virtual lifeguard will allow visitors to climb aboard a quad bike and take preventative action to ensure that swimmers and surfers are in the correct flagged zones. Footage from real rescues and personal accounts from volunteer crews will also be factored into the exhibition.

Joanna Bellis, RNLI Heritage curatorial manager, said: “We hope our contribution to the exhibition will be a fun and inspiring way to find out about the charity and will go some way to giving back to all those that have supported us over the years by showing what their support and funding has enabled us to achieve.”

Discovery Quay
Falmouth,
Cornwall
TR11 3QY

Tel:01326 313388