Sunday, 27 March 2016

Our new Shannon class lifeboat arrives in Swanage on Fri 8 Apr at 12 noon. Come and watch!

Our new Shannon class all weather lifeboat 'George Thomas Lacy' arrives in Swanage for the first time at 12:00 noon on Friday 8th April. Everyone is very welcome to come and watch, Swanage Pier will be the place to be. We're hoping to have a flotilla of boats to welcome her in and the Coastguard Helicopter (subject to operational requirements) too. If you've got a boat why not come and join the flotilla too.

Our Fundraisers will also be on the pier with various bits of limited edition 13-13 merchandise.

Please like, share, tweet and retweet to spread the word.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

End of era as Swanage RNLI coxswain prepares to retire

Volunteer coxswain of Swanage RNLI Martin Steeden will be hanging up his lifejacket for the last time next month, as he retires from the role after almost four decades of helping to save lives at sea. Martin will be handing over when the new Shannon class lifeboat goes on operational service towards the end of April.
Martin, who joined Swanage RNLI in 1977, has mixed emotions leaving the role but feels it’s the right thing to do: ‘I am very proud and feel very privileged to be a part of the overall history of Swanage RNLI. There are RNLI coxswains around the coast and I’m so proud to been able to be in this unique position and part of RNLI history.’

Swanage RNLI’s new Shannon class lifeboat George Thomas Lacy arrives in the town at midday on Friday 8 April. Martin will be a part of this momentous day when he helms the current Mersey class lifeboat Robert Charles Brown, which with the D class lifeboat Phyl & Jack, will lead the new lifeboat into the bay for the first time.

Martin continues: ‘A lot has changed in my time on the lifeboat, and during my time as coxswain, and I know that this is the right time for me to move on. With the arrival of the Shannon and the new lifeboat station, it’s fitting that there should be a new generation of coxswains and crew who will take their turn as part of the station’s history.

‘I have very much enjoyed my time as coxswain, we’ve got a good crew at Swanage and there is a good feeling among the volunteers who do it because they want to. I am really proud that this is a legacy that I will leave behind and I am delighted that there is such talent and passion that the handover will be seamless.’

Martin joined the crew at Swanage RNLI in 1977, before progressing to mechanic in 1985 to 2003, and taking on the role of coxswain in 2000. His legacy will live on at the station as his two sons Matt and Gavin are volunteer crew, with Gavin an assistant coxswain.

Martin was also fundamental in establishing Swanage Lifeboat Week, a fixed date in the community’s calendar. He still plans to be very much a part of the event:

‘When I took over as coxswain the crew, who were already giving up their time to training and respond to shouts, were also being asked to get involved in fundraising activity every other weekend. I thought it would be best to combine this activity into one whole week during the summer - something a lot of the other stations in other parts of the country were doing and I aimed to emulate their success.

‘It’s been a fixed date in the town’s calendar for around 15 years now and proved a real success. We have some holiday makers who return each year, some bringing with them tools needed to take part in some of the events, like the raft building! It’s continued to grow year on year and over the last couple, we’ve raised around £30,000 during this week alone.’

Martin will officially stand down as coxswain when the Shannon class lifeboat officially goes on service, towards the end of April. His final duty will be to take the Mersey class lifeboat back to RNLI HQ in Poole. Dave Turnbull, RNLI mechanic at Swanage lifeboat station, will take over the role.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Shannon machinery training for our mechanics this week.

This week our station mechanic and 3 of his deputies will be attending a course to learn all about the machinery on our new Shannon class lifeboat.
This will cover everything from the Hamilton waterjets and the Scania engines to the electronic controls and the onboard systems. It will be an intensive week with 30% of the time being in the classroom and the remaining 70% being on board the boat.
This is the second of the 3 courses that will be done at the RNLI college in Poole and gets us another step closer to our Shannon arriving in Swanage on Friday 8th April.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Boathouse update - More timber, stone and blockwork

Good progress over the last few weeks as the builders have been getting on with the internal timber work, some stone laying and starting to get the main boathall walls up.

This is the ILB doorway, the stone buttresses are starting to take shape now.
This will be the main access door in to the building.
The supports for the walkway down the side and rear of the lifeboat are going in.
The blocks to infill between the timber uprights are starting to increase in height.
There's still plenty of timber left to fit. The rooflight and some of the roof timber should hopefully be going on next week.