Friday, 11 November 2016

Boathouse update - More slipway trials next week

After some very successful trials this week there are a few tweaks to do to the slipway. Then on Mon 14 November we'll have a full day of testing culminating in a low water launch on the big spring tide in the afternoon.
 On Tuesday the boat was pulled in to the boathouse for the very first time to check all the clearances.
Before being launched back in to the water.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Boathouse update - Slipway trials have started

The next stage in the boathouse build is to test the slipway for the all weather lifeboat. The first day went really well with the boat being gently backed on to the slipway for the first time.
This was repeated numerous times until everyone was happy that the boat fitted well.

The plan for the next few days is to gradually pull the boat to the top of the slipway checking measurements as we go. It will then be pulling in to the boathouse to check clearances.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Boathouse update - The barge has gone!

Today saw the next step towards us moving in to the new lifeboat station. The jack up barge that has been with us since June has been towed away.
The barge has been used for piling and constructing the ALB slipway as well as installing the seaward end of the ILB slipway. With all the construction now done it was towed off to Poole to be unloaded.
The next stage is to install and level all the rollers in the ALB slipway and finish the shore end of the ILB slipway.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Boathouse update - a look round inside and out

Things have been progressing well over the last few months even though from the outside there has been little change. The interior fit out is now moving at a good pace and the contractors are hoping to hand the building over to the RNLI in October.

This is the view down the slipway.
The view back towards the workshop from the front of the building.
The view from the crew room looking North.
Looking to the back of the crew room, this will be the galley area.
The crew changing room on the ground floor.
Outside the ground levels are being built up and the new sea wall installed.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Boathouse update - Slipway works progressing well

Over the last few weeks the slipway work has been moving on well. All the large piles are now in place and the first of the smaller piles to hold the toe of the slipway have been installed.
Ashore the contractors have been assembling the slipway sections and lowering them in to place. Very quickly the slipway has started to take shape. Its nowhere near finished but you get a good idea of how its going to look. The angle of the slipway is the same as it was for our Mersey but the shape of the slipway is very different to match the underwater profile of the Shannon.
Work on the boathouse is coming on well too. Electricians are busily working away as are carpenters, plasterers and window fitters.
The photos above are from the crew room above the ILB shed.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Boathouse update - The barge has arrived

A rather misty start to the day today. The barge and tugs appeared out of the mist just after 11am and the barge was soon pushed in to position.
Once in position it was jacked up clear of the water and the walkway rigged to the shore.
Piling should now start on Monday if all goes to plan.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Boathouse update - Slipway construction starts Monday

The scene at Peveril Point is going to change somewhat on Monday when the large jack up barge arrives to start the installation of our slipway.

The first job is to install the piles that will support the main body of the slipway. Once that is done the precast concrete cross beams will be installed. After that the steel slipway is lowered in to place and secured.

Here's a note from our builders:

The installation of the piles is unfortunately a noisy activity as it involves driving the tubes into the ground with a large hammer. As such, this activity will be limited to 5:00pm during the week, 1:00pm on Saturday and no pile driving on Sunday.

We hope to install two piles per day, so all being well, the piling works will be completed within the first two weeks of the marine activities. We estimate that it will take around an hour and a half to drive each pile and will be trying to keep these works to the middle of the day.

The jack up barge will be used for all the slipway works so will be on site until around mid-August.

We’ll keep you posted on how its going.

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!

PCT day 3 = done. A long day finishing in Portsmouth

Day 3 of the PCT is the final day of the RNLI College based training and the start of the passage back to station. For us the passage back to station takes about 40 mins so we needed to come up with a plan to get some more sea time in. The first part of the day was spent going over the alarms on the boat and what to do in the event of an emergency such as a fire onboard or flooding.
Then the boat was loaded up and we set off under the 14:30 bridge out of Poole.
We then headed towards The Solent to meet up with the two RNLI Lifeboats from Portsmouth for an exercise. On the way we took advantage of the lumpy conditions off The Needles to do a little bit of rough weather boat handling.
We met up with the crew from Portsmouth, let them have a quick look over the boat then headed out to sea to do some drills. After that we made our way in to Portsmouth harbour in the dark for our overnight stay. We finally got off the boat around 10pm, a good day but a long one!