Selsey Lifeboat Station once again hosted a visit from children from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster area so that they could hear all about the purpose and activities of the RNLI, as well as being shown around both the all weather lifeboat Voluntary Worker and the inshore lifeboat Thomas and Betty Moore.
This group of 12 children were 10 years old and came from three villages in the Belarus where there is still a very high level of radiation. All of them had health problems associated with weakened immune systems. They stayed in Haslemere and had visits out every day and then spend the weekends and evenings with their host families.
The children all signed a thank you letter and presented it to Selsey Lifeboat Station.
It is now 26 years since the disaster of Chernobyl and unfortunately the genetic scarring from the disaster is passing through the generations, which as yet appears to show no signs of reducing. However, one month in the UK, or away from the contamination, gives the children two to three years good health, or boost, and therefore adds two or three years to their life expectancy.
The Chernobyl Children’s Life Line is a charity set up in 1991 with a key aim of bringing child victims to the UK for recuperative 3-week breaks.
Roger Fitter (Chernobyl Children’s Life Line Group Leader) commented "The children really enjoy coming to Selsey. We are always welcomed so warmly at the Lifeboat Station, and this combined with a visit to the crab sheds, gives the children a real flavour of the sea, its pleasures and its perils. It is very important for the health of these children to have a break from the contamination where they live."
(Article written by Ruth Troughton-Smith, LPO)