PRINCESS Anne will be paying a visit to the Isle of Wight today (Thursday), meeting schoolchildren and coastguards among others, and learning more about maritime safety.

The Princess Royal, accompanied by Susie Sheldon, the Island's Lord Lieutenant, is scheduled to visit the Bembridge National Coastwatch Station, at Forelands.

See photos: HRH The Princess Royal visits the "eyes and ears of the coastguard" in Bembridge

She is patron of the National Coastwatch Institution and will meet the volunteer watchkeepers at the station, which is shared with HM Coastguard.

She will present watchkeeper epaulettes and unveil a plaque.

Isle of Wight County Press: Prince Philip has been a visitor to Sea View Yacht ClubPrince Philip has been a visitor to Sea View Yacht Club (Image: Sea View Yacht Club)

Then, as president of the Royal Yachting Association, Princess Anne will officially open Sea View Yacht Club's new training centre and boat park, in Duver Road, Seaview.

The facilities allow the club to run sailing for schools at the same time as charterers use its main clubhouse.

The centre includes changing rooms and a classroom, which ensures children can still train on days when the weather precludes on-the-water activities.

Schoolchildren, accompanied by parents and teachers from the various Island schools that have benefitted from the Seaview Sailing Trust (SST) training, will be on hand to meet the Princess.

Among them, there will be a Year 5 class of 31 youngsters, from St Mary's Catholic Primary School, Ryde.

Sara Sutcliffe, CEO of the RYA, Jon Curtis, Sea View Yacht Club's director of sailing and Andrea Minton Beddoes, the chair of SST, will also be attending the visit.

Sea View Yacht Club's Schools Sailing Programme began in 2017, when Sir Ben Ainslie, a Seaview resident, and the 1851 Trust, funded a term of sailing for primary school children.

After that, the Seaview Sailing Trust was established to fund sailing for Year 5 children, enabling them children to achieve either Stage 1 or Stage 2 RYA certificates.

Club secretary, James Crofts, said: "Incredibly, for an island community, many of the children who participate have never been to the beach, let alone on a sailing boat.

"Through their involvement, their confidence increases and many learn to love sailing."

In 2022, the trust funded 1,840 sailing lessons for 360 children and, this year, it plans to provide more than 2,800 sessions for nearly 500 children from 14 local schools.

Currently one year of provision costs around £120,000.