Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Annual Open Evening - Tues 20 Nov

Swanage Lifeboat Station's annual open evening is at The Pines Hotel, Swanage on Tues 20th November at 1930. All welcome.

The evening will include:
The Swanage Lifeboat Guild AGM
A talk from our Chairman, Peter Foster
A talk from our Operations Manager, Capt Neil Hardy
A round up of the year's rescues by Coxswain Martin Steeden
A presentation on the new lifeboat station by Julie Phelps from Smith Foster Ltd

There will also be a few awards presented too.

It would be great if you could join us. The evening usually lasts about 90 minutes and the bar is open afterwards!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Magical RNLI Swanage steam train experience

All aboard for a magical RNLI Swanage steam train experience.

The RNLI are planning a fundraising event with a difference next month with a chance to relive the amazing age of steam. On Saturday 27 October it’ll be all aboard the train for a memorable steam-driven ride through the beautiful Purbeck Hills to Harman’s Cross and all to help raise funds for the charity that saves lives at sea.

The magical experience will begin at 9.45am when the Swanage Railway Station will host the departure of this special journey to Harman’s Cross. As Selina Taylor, Community Fundraising Manager explains, the steam experience will be the start of an entertaining and educational family day out; 

Copyright - Andrew Wright, Swanage Railway
‘The steam train will take its excited passengers to Harman’s Cross to join a special RNLI Family Fun Day that promises RNLI film shows, games, medal making, dressing up in lifeboat kit and a welly throwing competition. It’s all good family fun and for just £5 for a ticket it’s also a bargain day out. We hope people will be thrilled at the opportunity to ride on a steam train with a destination full of surprises. I would urge families to book early to avoid disappointment.

‘We’ve organised refreshments too with lunch boxes for the children and ploughman’s lunches for the adults – all available to buy at Harman’s Cross Village Hall. I reckon we’ve thought of everything for a family wanting to enjoy something a little bit different on an autumn day in October.’

Tickets, at £5 per person, are available from the Swanage RNLI shop or by emailing Selina Taylor on Selina_Taylor@rnli.org.uk The day begins at 9.45am and ends at 2pm. All proceeds will go to the work of the RNLI in the Dorset area.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Naming ceremony for D-752, Sat 15 Sept at 11:00


The naming ceremony and service of dedication for our new D Class inshore lifeboat
D-752 'Phyl & Jack' will take place at 11:00 on Saturday 15th September at Swanage Lifeboat Station.

Photography by www.richardbudd.co.uk
All are welcome to come along and join us. Sadly due to a lack of space the seating will be reserved for invited guests only. The service should last for a little under an hour and will finish with the lifeboat launching.

Friday, 13 July 2012

New Inshore Lifeboat arrives

Its been an exciting few days at Swanage Lifeboat Station as we received our brand new D Class Inshore Lifeboat on Wednesday afternoon.
D-752 is named 'Phyl & Jack' and was donated to us by Mrs Phyl Cleare and is named in memory of her and her husband.

Sadly Mrs Cleare passed away earlier this year but she told us in 2011 that she had made provision for a new lifeboat for us. Mrs Cleare had also funded our previous boat D-613 'Jack Cleare' in memory of her husband, the boat before that, D-475 'Phyl Clare 2' and our very first ILB D-406 'Phyl Clare'. The crew are delighted with the new boat but we were sad to see D-613 leave Swanage.
D-752 was officially placed on service at 7:20pm on Thursday 12th July by Tom Mansell, Training Divisional Inspector (South). The naming ceremony is planned for Sat 15th September at 11:00.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

New lifejackets are officially handed over

It was a proud moment as Ollie and Yvette Miles went to Swanage Lifeboat Station to officially handover the new lifejackets to the volunteer crew, funded in memory of their late son Scott.

Ollie and Yvette had chosen to put the funds given in his memory to Swanage Lifeboat Station as Scotty always enjoyed being at sea and was a frequent visitor to station. The Swanage crew are delighted with the new jackets and have already tested them in some challenging conditions during some recent rescues.

The new lifejackets were designed through joint collaboration between the RNLI and the manufacturer to meet the charity’s current search and rescue requirements.

It was back in 1854 that an RNLI Inspector called Captain Ward invented a cork lifejacket that proved a lifesaver on numerous occasions. But since those days, the charity has always looked to advance and improve its safety equipment, from kapok lifejackets to Beaufort lifejackets and the present day design.

As Adrian Carey, RNLI Inspector for the South Division explains, the charity believes its volunteer crews deserve the best possible equipment:

‘We ask our volunteers to put themselves in difficult and dangerous situations and its only right that we provide them with the best equipment, whether they are lifeboat crew or the shore crews who help launch and recover the lifeboats.'

The Swanage volunteer lifeboat crew have already launched 17 times this year - 11 of these launches being during the months of May and June when our crews have faced some appalling conditions due the unseasonal gale force winds and rain that have lashed the coast and generated some large sea swells.

Volunteer Coxswain Martin Steeden said: ‘The new lifejackets are a great improvement, making it easier for us to operate in the sometimes difficult and uncomfortable conditions at sea. I have seen three different types of lifejacket during my 35 years on the crew and am pleased the RNLI continue to supply us with the best kit available.’

Monday, 25 June 2012

PISCES Sub-Aqua Club donates £300


This photo shows members of PISCES Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC No. 645) presenting a cheque for £300 to Peter Foster, Chairman of the Swanage Lifeboat Station Management Team on Sunday May 27th. This donation was made from the funds raised by the club when they held a Grand Reunion Ball last November. The event was attended by over 120 people comprising past & present members and their families, as well as divers and friends from three other local BSAC clubs in the North London area.

Helping to make this event such a great success was our VIP for the night, Tony Marshall (ex Vice-Chair of BSAC) who presented the raffle prizes and the annual club award. Thanks are also due to BSAC who kindly donated a prize for our raffles.

A great night made even better by the fact that we were able to support the fantastic RNLI, particularly the Swanage Lifeboat Station!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

New All Weather Lifeboat in 2015

Swanage RNLI lifeboat station will be home to a new, state-of-the-art Shannon class all-weather lifeboat in 2015, the RNLI announced today. The Shannon, which has a top speed of 25 knots, will replace the station’s current 17-knot Mersey class lifeboat.
The announcement coincides with the 20th anniversary of Swanage’s current lifeboat starting service. The Mersey class Robert Charles Brown was officially placed on service on 12 June 1992.

Martin Steeden, volunteer RNLI Coxswain, said: ‘Everyone at Swanage lifeboat station is delighted that we will be receiving this new lifeboat in 2015. It will be a fantastic asset to enhance the ongoing service that the volunteers at Swanage provide. The extra speed, manoeuvrability, comfort and latest technology can only make our job of saving lives at sea easier and safer.’

The £1.5m Shannon at Swanage will be principally funded by a generous legacy left by Mr George Lacy for use by the RNLI on the Dorset coast. Mr Lacy’s granddaughter, Heather Booy, said: ‘He was in the Navy and had a passion for the sea and for the RNLI. He used to have a collection box in his house and all his change would go into it. He would always talk about the RNLI – it’s such a great charity – and he would be so proud to see this new lifeboat. To think that he’s helping to save lives is lovely.

The Shannon is the newest class of RNLI lifeboat and follows a 45-year tradition of naming the charity’s lifeboats after rivers or stretches of water. It will be the first time that the name of a river in Ireland has been used – the River Shannon is 386km (240 miles) in length and is the longest river in Ireland.
Prototype Shannon class in rough weather off Portland Bill - Credit: N. Williams

It has been designed in-house by RNLI naval architects who have harnessed cutting-edge technology to ensure the new lifeboat meets the demands of a 21st century rescue service and allows the charity’s volunteer crew to do their lifesaving work as safely as possible in all weather conditions.

The new lifeboat features twin water jets instead of conventional propellers, allowing it to operate in shallow waters and be highly manoeuvrable – giving the crew greater control when alongside other craft and in confined waters. The water jets also reduce the risk of damage to the lifeboat during launch and recovery, or when intentionally beached. It will be the first RNLI all-weather lifeboat to run on water jets instead of propellers.
Prototype Shannon class in rough weather off Portland Bill - Credit: N. Williams
The Shannon’s seats are designed to protect the crew members’ spines as much as possible from the forces of the sea in rough weather, so they can conduct their lifesaving work in a safer, more comfortable environment. The Shannon also incorporates SIMS (System and Information Management System) which allows the crew to monitor the lifeboat from the safety of their seats, again reducing the likelihood of injury to the volunteer crew members during search and rescue operations.

Prototype Shannon class in rough weather off Portland Bill - Credit: N. Williams

With a top speed of 25 knots, the Shannon is faster than the current Mersey class lifeboat based at Swanage, which is capable of 17 knots. Like all RNLI all-weather lifeboats, the Shannon is self-righting and it will return to an upright position in the event of a capsize during extreme weather or sea conditions.


The new class of lifeboat is undergoing full sea trials this year, with the first operational Shannon class lifeboats going on station in 2013.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Open Gardens - 26 & 27 May

We are very grateful to Mr & Mrs Gould for opening up their wonderful gardens at 'West Ower' near Corfe Castle in the aid of the RNLI. The gardens will be open from 2:00pm to 5:00pm. There will be refreshments, cream teas, cake stall and a plant stall.

Admission is free but all donations are very welcome. No dogs though, sorry.
You can find directions here - http://www.westower.co.uk/find_us.html it will be well signposted on both days too.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

A young fundraiser visits

During the Easter school holidays, Swanage Lifeboat Station welcomed Charlie Wells, aged 7 from Bristol, some three hours journey time.

Charlie, an enthusiastic member of Storm Force, saves his pocket money, and requests money rather than presents from friends and family for his birthday in order to donate to the RNLI. He brought with him a most welcome £150.

The highlight of Charlie’s day was to watch his first launch of Swanage’s Mersey and D Class Lifeboats on exercise.
Charlie is pictured with Peter Foster - Chairman of Swanage Lifeboat Management Group

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Tractor pull = won!

We are very grateful to Wareham and Purbeck Young farmers for donating all the money from their annual tractor pull to Swanage Lifeboat. It was a bright but cold day with a brisk North Easterly wind. The teams lined up in a series of heats with the 'Lifeboat Crew' and 'Blandford Young Farmers' eventually getting through to the final.

After a great last run the Lifeboat Crew took the lead and won the final!

Thanks to everyone who took part and helped organise the event, here's what you helped to raise.

Entry fees @ £20 per team = £180.00
Collection buckets = £91.90
RNLI Souvenir Stall = £104.00

An excellent result, thank you!

If you're up for another challenge why not enter a team in our Raft Race on Sat 18th August, its part of our annual Lifeboat Week.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Tractor pull in aid of Swanage Lifeboats - Sun 15 April

We are very grateful to Wareham & Purbeck young farmers for running their annual tractor pull in aid of Swanage Lifeboats. If you'd like to enter a team then you can download an entry form [ H E R E ]

If you're in the area why not pop along to see how the teams do. We'll be entering a team and we'll also have our Souvenir stall set up.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Donations in memory of Scott Miles help fund new lifejackets at Swanage

Scott Miles was a frequent visitor to Swanage Lifeboat Station and spent many hours at sea. His family chose to put the funds given in his memory to the Swanage Lifeboat Station. Since then, the volunteer crew have been waiting for a suitable cause to put this money towards, which would be a fitting tribute to Scott.

Scott was a great advocate of always wearing a lifejacket and when the Swanage volunteer crew were advised that they would be running an appeal to fund replacement lifejackets, they contacted the family to find out if they would be happy to support this idea. The family were delighted with the suggestion and as a result, six of the all-weather lifeboat lifejackets and three inshore lifeboat lifejackets will be funded in Scott’s memory. This is enough lifejackets for both boats to go to sea, however, the station also holds a few extra lifejackets for shore crew and additional crew that may need to go to sea (for example in search conditions, when you require as many eyes on the lookout as possible).

Money raised from the Swanage RNLI SOS day events have been allocated to this special appeal to fund these extra lifejackets. In what has become an annual tradition the Swanage RNLI volunteers hosted a carwash raising £990, a collection at the Co-Op totalling £131 and provided refreshments at the Catholic Hall making £493. These record breaking amounts together with funds raised from other local collections took Swanage’s SOS total to a fantastic £1647! This fundraising total on top of the funds from Scott’s memorial fund will provide the money needed to purchase the new lifejackets.

Martin Steeden, Swanage Lifeboat Coxswain, said: 'It is fantastic to see the community pull together in this way providing such generous support to our station. It is also an honour to provide a long lasting legacy to Scott in such a fitting way. Our thanks go to everyone involved and a particular thank you to the Miles family for agreeing to support this worthy cause.'

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Total raised at our SOS Events 2012

We'd like to say a really big thank you to all the people who donated money, had their car washed or came along to the 'Soup & Sweet' event over the weekend.

The collection in the Co-op supermarket raised £132
Soup & Sweet raised £368

and the car wash raised a record breaking £970!
Making a grand total of £1470.

All the money that we raised this year will be going to the RNLI's Lifejacket appeal, there's still time to make a donation online if you weren't able to attend one of the events. Thanks to all the volunteers that gave their time and energy it was a great effort.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

SOS events - 28 Jan


We'll be holding two events on Sat 28 Jan.

Soap our Saloons - A charity car wash at Jewson's Yard, High Street, Swanage. 09:30 - 16:00

Soup & Sweet - The Roman Catholic Hall, Rempstone Road, Swanage. 12:00 - 14:00. Tickets £5, available from Corben & Son Estate Agents, Station Road Swanage, for more information contact Ann Tiller on 01929 427947

All of the money raised by our SOS Day events this year will go to our Lifejacket Appeal. If you're not able to attend one of the events perhaps you'd consider making a donation online using this JustGiving link.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Gold badge for Lifeboat Operations Manager


In the first week of January the RNLI announced the names of the awardees that will be honoured at the annual presentation of awards later this year. Swanage volunteer, Captain Neil Hardy, has been recognised for his service to the Institution and is to be awarded the RNLI Gold Badge.

The RNLI Gold Badge is awarded to volunteers to acknowledge significant contribution to the Institution. Neil is the Lifeboat Operations Manager, responsible for the overall running of the station, a role he began in 1989. He comes from a family of RNLI volunteers with his uncle being a former Swanage Lifeboat Coxswain for many years.

Neil began his maritime career in 1967 at Nautical College and it was a natural progression for him to get involved with the workings of his local lifeboat station in later years. He was approached by a former Chairman of the Swanage Lifeboat branch to ask if he would consider getting involved to help re-kindle the level of interest at the station. This was a challenge that Neil took on and has held for over 23 years.

Despite having been involved with the RNLI for many years Neil was surprised to receive this special award saying, “I have enjoyed being a part of the Swanage RNLI, using my past experiences to assist this wonderful group of volunteers. There are very few organisations today that rely on the generosity of the public and dedicated volunteers, as opposed to government funding, to provide such a comprehensive service. This makes what the RNLI achieves truly remarkable and something I am proud to be associated with”.
Neil will be attending the RNLI National awards at the Barbican in London to receive this honour on 17 May 2012. He will be joined by an array of volunteers from around the Country include some volunteer crew and lifeguards who will receive coveted gallantry awards from the Institution for their acts of bravery helping to save the lives of those in trouble on the sea.

Friday, 6 January 2012

'appy new year

Happy New Year to all our supporters, followers and volunteers.

To make it easier for those of you with smart phones to keep up to date with what's going on here in Swanage we've created an app for those of you with Android phones. Sadly the cost of getting the app on to iTunes is too high for us but we've created a special iPhone friendly webpage instead, it looks just like the app.

Android users need to search the market for 'Swanage Lifeboat' and install the app from there.

iPhone users can simply visit - www.swanagelifeboat.org.uk/iphone

Here's a preview of the home screen.

Let us know what you think!