Friday, 29 April 2016

Boathouse update - roof structure now complete

Sorry for the lack of posts on the progress of the boathouse, we've been a bit busy with boat stuff.

There's been a lot going on. The carpenters have been busy finishing off the timber on the roof.
You can really see the shape of the building now. The stone and block work is also coming on well too.

The roof light in the main boat hall is due to go in next week which will then make the building watertight.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Our Mersey leaves Swanage for the final time at 2pm today

At 2pm today retiring Coxswain Martin Steeden, Assistant Mechanic Colin Marks and a selection of long serving crew members will take our Mersey class all weather lifeboat ‘Robert Charles Brown’ out of Swanage Bay for the final time and return her to RNLI Headquarters in Poole. That marks the end of her time here in Swanage.
Since arriving in Swanage in May 1992 she has saved countless lives and helped hundreds and hundreds of people. We’ll publish her full stats soon.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Its official, we're now an @RNLI Shannon station!

Today's the day that our brand new Shannon class lifeboat 'George Thomas Lacy' officially enters service as Swanage Lifeboat. After months of preparation, trials and training our Divisional Operations Manager, Nigel Jones has officially put the boat on service from 9pm on Weds 20th April 2016. Over the last few days he has been to sea on exercise with a good selection of the crew and is more than happy to put the boat on service.
Our Mersey 'Robert Charles Brown' will remain on the mooring in Swanage for a few days before being taken to Poole by retiring Coxswain, Martin Steeden. It is thought that she will be used as part of the RNLI's training fleet that operates from the RNLI College in Poole so we'll still see her around for some time yet.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Shannon training - 4 days consolidation done, passout next

The last ten days have been pretty intensive for the Swanage volunteers but all that Shannon training is now done.
The next thing on the list is a series of operational passouts with our Divisional Operations Manager and our Divisional Technical Manager. Once they're both happy 'George Thomas Lacy' will be officially placed on service as Swanage Lifeboat. That is likely to happen this coming week.

We'll keep you posted!

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Shannon training - 4 days afloat training done, 4 days consolidation next

Our Shannon training continues at a pace with our volunteers taking time off work to do a full day of training at sea. Each crew member will have to do a minimum of 2 days afloat, 1 day training and 1 day consolidation.
The crew would set off from Swanage at 9am, head up towards The Solent carrying out various drills on the way. The crew will swap roles giving them experience on the helm, the radar and the electronic navigation system.
A brief stop for lunch, such as the top picture in Yarmouth or here in Cowes and its time for more drills and a passage back to Swanage.

Next we have 4 days consolidation with one of the RNLI's staff Coxswains. These days will be more about the crew just doing drills rather than being trained in them. This is the final push to ensure that the crew are ready for an operational passout with our Divisional Operations Manager and our Divisional Technical Manager next week.

Friday, 8 April 2016

PCT day 5 = done. Wow what a welcome in Swanage!

The final day of PCT is all about the trip to station. Little did we know how big a crowd of people would be waiting for us in Swanage.
The boat was clean, the crew smart and the sun shining!

We left Weymouth just after 10am and were soon back in familiar territory. After a quick cup of tea it was time to meet up with our current lifeboat, our ILB and a great flotilla of boats that came to take us in to Swanage.
Then after a few demonstrations we tied up on the pier and we were finally home.
More training for the rest of the crew over the coming days. We'll keep you posted.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

PCT day 4 = done. Alongside in Weymouth ready to head to Swanage tomorrow

Day 4 started with a few 'problems' with the boat that had been set up by Martin our instructor. With all the problems solved we headed out in to the Solent to do some more drills.
The first drill was a simulated fire onboard that was soon dealt with. Unfortunately the 'fire' caused some problems with the electronic steering and throttle system. This meant another drill for the mechanic to connect the emergency throttle and use the emergency water jet control system.
With that complete a short hop to Cowes for some more boat handling practice and lunch.

After lunch a route was plotted to Weymouth to refuel, wash the boat down and clean her up ready for the trip home to Swanage tomorrow.
She looks small moored up next to Weymouth's Severn class. After a good clean up and 1100 litres of fuel we moved over to our berth for the night and shut the boat down.
We're really looking forward to bringing 'George Thomas Lacy' to Swanage, see you tomorrow at midday!