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#SAR – Force 10 storm, zero visibility, 40ft waves, someone needs rescuing. It's time to go to work. Search and Rescue, the new blockbuster exhibition from National Maritime Museum Cornwall invites you to enter the world of the rescue services where ordinary people lead extraordinary lives, risking their life to save yours.

Opening on 16 March, the exhibition takes you on an interactive, stimulating and emotive journey into the role of the maritime rescue services, celebrating the work of the RNLI, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, HM Coastguard and other organisations.

Objects of epic proportions include a 70ft Sea King helicopter, kindly loaned by the MOD, one of the Museum's most ambitious installations. Uniquely painted in the colours of both the Royal Navy and RAF Search and Rescue (SAR) services (red and grey one side and yellow on the other) it offers you the rare opportunity to climb inside, without having to be rescued. Dress as a pilot, listen to accounts from the crew and from those that have been rescued, explore their lifesaving equipment and discover the world of the Royal Navy and RAF SAR teams.

Revisiting rescues from the past, some well-known and some untold, this exhibition showcases the individuals whose job it is to head into the eye of the storm, when most of us would flee. The exhibition traces the evolution of rescue equipment from the early days of Henry Trengrouse's rocket line to the cutting edge equipment of today and shows that although the equipment might have changed, the determination and grit of rescue men and women to save lives has never changed.

At the heart of the exhibition is an interactive coastguard operations room. Put yourself in the coastguard hot seat, make the life or death decision to bring in the right service for the rescue and begin your journey through the incredible work and lives of the coastguard rescue, air and sea rescue teams.

Get up close to one of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) Atlantic 75 inshore lifeboats and see a fascinating assembly of the charity's collection boxes spanning 150 years. Take to the beach and become a virtual lifeguard, climb aboard a quad bike and take action to make sure the swimmers and surfers are between the right flags. See real seaside rescues and listen to accounts from volunteer crewmen and women.

Ben Lumby, Exhibitions Manager of National Maritime Museum Cornwall, says: "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."

"Working with these incredible teams has been a true privilege; they have kindly allowed us to see inside their world and shown us they're 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."

The new Search & Rescue exhibition at National Maritime Museum Cornwall opens on 16 March. Honouring the work of the heroic men and women who risk their lives at sea and around our coast, it invites you to be part of their world and shares their lives with you.

Throughout the two year life of the exhibition there will be a number of events including air sea rescue demonstrations, 'meet the crew' days and opportunities to climb aboard an RNLI all-weather lifeboat. To keep up to date with what's on when, visit www.nmmc.co.uk

Published in Coastguard

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