Pupils answer lifeboat SOS

AHOY there, m'hearties!

Dressing up as pirates, walking the plank, creating a giant treasure map, and eating 'weevil-free' biscuits were all part of a fun-packed series of activities enjoyed by pupils at the Old School at Henstead.

But their maritime capers had a serious message too – as staff and pupils were celebrating raising more than �2,000 for the RNLI charity's SOS appeal, in support of Waveney's volunteer lifeboat crews.

Representatives from Lowestoft and Southwold Lifeboats visited the school last Friday to collect cheques totalling �2006.

Josie Moore, chairman of Lowestoft RNLI fund-raising committee, thanked everyone for their tremendous effort, saying: 'Our volunteer crews could not do the work they do without such support.'

Earlier, children had visited the two lifeboat stations, and HM Coastguard, to learn about sea safety.

In January, children did more than 600 sponsored swims and rescues at Bungay pool as part of their lifesaving training, and a special Treasure Island event was organised for everyone by Pat Suffolk, and her Year 2 pupils.

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Challenges included 'Man the lifeboat', where children had to match the correct tools/objects and name different boat parts, or sit in the appropriate seats on a specially-made model lifeboat.

Fund-raising had started with a collection at the school's Candlemas service, and ended with a beetle drive.

Headmaster Ian Griffin said: 'As a local school with strong connections to both Lowestoft and Southwold, we are delighted to support our friends in the RNLI.

'We hope the strong links we have forged over the past few weeks will be maintained and strengthened over the coming years.

'It is of vital importance that all our children understand sea safety and the work of the RNLI charity.'

The Lifeboat Station shop opens on South Pier, Lowestoft, some mornings. Proceeds from sales go to the RNLI. Ring 01502 531507 to check open times before you visit.