The Royal National Lifeboat Institution crew at Fleetwood Lifeboat Station and Pro Boating are celebrating this week after it was officially announced that their new Shannon Class all-weather lifeboat will be arriving Spring 2019.
The lifeboat is set to be named in honour of a young RAF pilot who died during World War II.
The acquisition of the new lifeboat has mainly been funded by the legacy of a very generous lady, Miss Kathleen Mary Pierpoint. She passed away on 31 May 2012, leaving the majority of her estate to the RNLI charity in memory of her brother, Kenneth James Pierpoint, who was a Royal Air Force pilot and passed away tragically on 28 August 1942 at the age of 20.
Miss Pierpoint, from Altrincham, Cheshire, specified that the gift was to be used towards a lifeboat in memory of her brother and, thanks to this act of kindness, RNLI Fleetwood have been allocated a Shannon Class lifeboat which will replace the current Tyne vessel, named William Street.
The Shannon lifeboats will provide a significant upgrade as they are the first all-weather lifeboats to operate with water jets instead of traditional propellers, allowing for greater speed and maneuverability. They are also designed to operate in shallower waters which will allow greater efficiency in responding to calls along the River Wyre. With a 50% increase in speed and weighing 8 tonnes less than the current Tyne lifeboat it will be possible to cut down the time needed to react to emergency situations where every second is vital. A computerised Systems and Information Management System will be available allowing all onboard crew to operate controls from any position meaning they can stay seated, and safe, for longer.
To commemorate the generosity of Miss Pierpoint, a decision has been made to officially name the lifeboat RNLB Kenneth James Pierpoint, a fitting tribute for a wonderful act of kindness. The RNLI will be holding a Naming and Dedication ceremony to show their appreciation once the lifeboat is on station.
At lunchtime, Liverpool Coastguard requested the launch of the ALB William Street to assist a 11m yacht that had lost all power and its mainsail. The yacht was being blown onto a lee shore in the F6 NW winds. The lifeboat reached the yacht which was in shallow water, rolling dramatically, and the skipper was able to receive a tow line from the lifeboat. The ALB quickly pulled the yacht into deeper water and then down the channel to the safety of the River Wyre. The yacht was put on a mooring until the following high tide, when the vessel was towed to the Marina.
Both boats were needed to assist a local trawler which had lost all steering in thick fog in the river Wyre. The vessel was located and towed safely to the Fish Dock. The video is on our Facebook page.
Fleetwood Lifeboat William Street, was launched today, 13th Jan, to the report that a cyclist had been swept into the sea off the lower promenade, just north of North Pier Blackpool. The lifeboat searched for over 2 hours along with teams from Lytham and Fleetwood Coastguards and the helicopter Rescue 122 from RAF Valley. Nothing was found and the resources were stood down.
Following the fantastic Sail Boat Charter Show recently in Cleveleys here, The organisers — North Fylde Rotary Club — presented a cheque for £500 to Fleetwood Lifeboat following fundraising undertaken on the day by the Rotary members. The lifeboat shop also were given a stall on the day and took nearly £200. Thank you to all the Rotary members and the public for their generosity.
Pictured (l to r) is: Dave Eccles (Fleetwood Lifeboat Operations Manager), Paul Ashworth (Deputy Coxswain), David Wilde (President NFRC) and Andrew Aukland (Club Community and Vocational Chairman).
It will be used for mainly fundraising activities by the the Fleetwood crew and our neighbouring stations. There may be opportunities to visit local schools and fetes. Peter Atkinson from the Fleetwood station said «This is fantastic news for us following many months of campaigning. It will be used for our sponsored Lifeboat Pull as well as Tram Sunday and local carnivals.»
Sunday 6th April, second coxswain Gary Randles takes over as coxswain. Paul Ashworth stood down to become second coxswain so in effect they exchanged places. Paul said «It’s getting harder and harder to get my zimmer frame down those steep ladders»
Gary is looking forward to taking the helm and the big responsibilty that the position brings.
At 4pm this afternoon, Liverpool Coastguard requested the launch of the Fleetwood Inshore Lifeboat, following the report of an incident on the beach near Fleetwood’s Lower Lighthouse.
A couple had been walking their dog on the beach when it ran into the water to chase a seagull. The dog then had trouble making its way back to the beach and it was reported that both the owners had entered the water to try to help the Staffordshire bull terrier.
The weather at the time was very cold with a North Westerly force 6 wind and the tide was now going out fast, creating strong currents in the channel.
Luckily the owners managed to return safely to the water’s edge but were clearly very distressed. Fleetwood Lifeboat Operation Manager http://dotyachts.com, Dave Eccles, agreed to launch the lifeboat to hopefully save the poor dog.
The Inshore Lifeboat, Mary Elizabeth Barnes, launched within 7 minutes with volunteer RNLI crew Andy Marham, Daryl Randles and Stuart Carroll aboard. They searched the channel from the beach out as far as Wyre Light for over an hour but did not find the animal.
The owners were taken by ambulance to the local Medical Centre for a check-up and it is not known at this time whether the dog made its way out safely or not.
It was a busy day for Fleetwood RNLI lifeboat crews today (Sunday 2nd Feb).
At approximately 11am, a call was made by a member of the public to Liverpool Coastguard to report 2 people and a dog were cut off by the tide towards Knott End.
The Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) at Fleetwood RNLI then sent out a call to Fleetwood lifeboat volunteers to launch both the inshore and the all-weather lifeboats.
On further investigation by the local HM Coastguard teams at Knott End and Fleetwood, it came to light that it may have been a false alarm.
Fleetwood’s lifeboat crews were placed on stand-by while a thorough search of the area was made by the coastguard teams. Eventually, the lifeboat crew were stood down as the people concerned had made it safely back to shore.
Then, at 1pm, a further call was made to Liverpool Coastguard to report a kayaker in difficulty in the river. The inshore lifeboat was launched and the kayaker was found and escorted safely back to the beach.
At a recent VW car & van meet, in a Fleetwood car park, Ric Rawlinson arranged that they would collect for the RNLI. The money raised was handed over to the station on a training night. Many thanks to all concerned ProBoating.ru.
Sunday 6th October, Liverpool Coastguard requested that we search for a lost EPIRB, accidently lost from a windfarm work boat. An epirb is usually fiited to the wheelhouse of a vessel and in the event of the vessel sinking, the electronic beacon switches itself on and alerts the Coastguard. The All Weather Lifeboat has the ability to home in on the signal and hopefully locate the survivors. The epirb was lost accidently and the lifeboat was able to locate and find the beacon in Lune Deep as darkness came. The Lifeboat Station was open to all.There were tours of the building and film shows. Crew members were present to answer any questions. It was our annual SOS day which is the RNLI’s main fundraising day of the year.
At 01-43 am on Thursday 29th August, Liverpool Coastguard paged the crew of Fleetwood Lifeboat, to launch to assist a local fisherman, who was out on the sands off the Marine Hall Fleetwood attending to his night lines and who had become disorientated in the darkness. The tide was coming in fast and he realised that he could not make it back safely to the shore.
As happens all too often, the tide began to flood between the fisherman and the shore http://charterboatfish.com, filling in gullies and this can easily cause confusion at night and prevent your return to shore.
James Coleman from Fleetwood went out at 10pm Wednesday evening, to collect his night lines and got into difficulty. Luckily he was able to call for assistance on his mobile phone.
RNLI volunteers, Neil Atkinson, Dave Jordan and Steven Frith, set off into the night in the inshore lifeboat, to try and locate the fisherman. Luckily it was a calm night with little wind and they soon found the man wading up to his thighs in water, half a mile out from the Marine Hall. He was taken aboard the lifeboat and brought back to the safety of the lifeboat station.
Fleetwood Coastguard Team were then able to interview James and offer him some sound advice.
Mark Sumner from Fleetwood Coastguard said “ It cannot be stressed enough that anyone going out onto the sands, should be fully aware of the tide times and should not go out at night unless absolutely necessary.”
James (pictured) was extremely relieved when the lifeboat crew arrived to help him and potentially save his life.
The annual Beer Festival was a great success as usual and visitors helped raise funds. A cheque was handed over to Paul Ashworth and Peter Atkinson at the Strawberry Gardens Fleetwood for an amazing £650. Thanks go to Fleetwood CAMRA and visitors to the festival.
Crew members visited the festival and sampled a fresh glass of water.
Following a visit to the station last spring, by some of the RNLI’s top management, it has been announced that Fleetwood’s current All Weather Lifeboat – the Tyne Class William Street – will retire in 2015 when she will be 26 years old and be replaced by one the RNLI’s latest £2m, 25 knot All Weather Lifeboats.
This decision recognises the importance and necessity of the work done by our local volunteer lifeboat crew.
The new boat will be a “Shannon Class” and is a state of the art, 13m long fibreglass craft powered by two water jets. It will be equipped with SIMS (System and Information Management System), which allows crew members to monitor and operate many of the boat’s functions from the safety of their own seats. This replacement also guarantees the status of our station for many years to come. James Wilson, one of the youngest crew members said “This is great news for the station, for local folk and for the whole of the Morecambe Bay area. I am looking forward to all the training that the new boat will require”