Mar 31

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Byline: Prestatyn Rotary club drop in on Easter Sunday with present for the crew
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Following an informal chat between Rhyl Lifeboat Operations Manager Darrel Crowther and members of Prestatyn Rotary Club, the club members purchased a video camera to be used by the crew on training exercises and also on rescues.

The camera is one that is widely used by extreme sports enthusiasts, and so is well suited to the conditions experienced on board the lifeboats.

Vice President Colin Hall and his family; and Secretary Peter Dopp; called in on the crew after an exercise on Easter Sunday, to present the camera. Coxswain Martin jones says " This camera will be a very useful tool to assit us with our training, and also to record our rescues on the lifeboats. We are extremely grateful to the Prestatyn Rotary club for their generous gift".

The attached picture shows Colin hall of Prestatyn Rotary club, handing the camera to Coxswain Martin Jones of Rhyl lifeboat, watched by other crew members and the secretary of the Rotary club.


Mar 28

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Byline: A 35 mile round trip to assist two trawlers which had collided and entangled their nets and an unexploded Second World War bomb kept the volunteer crew of Eastbourne lifeboat at sea for almost 11 hours today.
Page Content: At 06.44 Eastbourne RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat (ALB) was requested to launch by Dover Coastguard when it was reported that two trawlers, one from Holland and one from France, had a near collision 17 miles offshore which resulted in their towed fishing gear becoming entangled. As a precautionary measure the lifeboat was tasked to assist if required. The two trawlers eventually managed to disentangle their gear without assistance. When a later routine call from Dover Coastguard resulted in a failed communication with the Dutch vessel ‘Zuiderkruiz’ another alert was raised. Once more the volunteer crew of Eastbourne lifeboat was re-tasked to investigate. Back on scene it became evident that despite slight damage from the collision all was well aboard the trawler and the reason for their lack of response to Dover Coastguard was that all crew members were on deck repairing their damaged fishing gear.

Before the ALB crew had returned to harbour they were re-tasked to another incident three miles off Beachy Head when the beam trawler ‘Joanna C’ dredged up what was
described as a torpedo in its nets. Once photographs were taken and transmitted to the appropriate authorities the object was identified as a British 500lb World War Two bomb, apparently in good condition with detonators intact. The trawler was requested to set anchor and a tense few hours ensued whilst a bomb disposal unit was despatch from Portsmouth. Several hours later the team had arrived in Eastbourne and were transported to the trawler by the ALB where the decision was made to set a controlled explosion of the device.

At 15.35, with explosive charges attached, the bomb was transported aboard ‘Joanna C’ to shallower water in Pevensey Bay and lowered to the seabed where a controlled explosion was detonated. Much to the surprise of onlookers onshore at least a mile from the explosion the power was felt underground. Eventually, having spent nearly 11 hours at sea, the ALB returned to station and was made ready for service.

Mar 28

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Byline: The RNLI has launched a recruitment drive to find volunteers wanting to establish a new inshore lifeboat station in Scotland.
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The charity is keen to start a trial station at Stonehaven, near Aberdeen, to fill the gap created when the Maritime Rescue Institute (MRI) lost its boats during a storm in December.

The MRI, also a charity, suffered damage to premises at Stonehaven harbour and in February it announced that it would close.

This ended a period of more than 30 years during which the MRI volunteers carried out more than 500 rescues along a 25-mile stretch of coastline, and going up to 50 miles offshore.

The RNLI has all-weather lifeboats based at Montrose and Aberdeen lifeboat stations which are currently overseeing that coastline and will be called upon to save lives at sea.

The charity is investigating the possibility of setting up an inshore lifeboat station, run by volunteers, which could start as early as July.

However, the RNLI needs to ensure that there are enough volunteers within the local community who are willing to undergo training to be crew, and that there are other people who would enjoy undertaking a shore-based role.

The charity is holding a Public Meeting on Thursday 4 April at 7pm at St James’s Church Hall in Stonehaven where Paul Jennings, the RNLI’s Divisional Operations Manager for the area, will unveil the new station plans.

Paul said, `We are very encouraged indeed with early expressions of interest from people who would like to be crew. Former MRI crew are interested in our plans, so too is a former RNLI crewman.

`We do need a large pool of people to be crew members and there are also several station-based roles such as a Lifeboat Operations Manager.’  

The charity’s Trustees will need to approve the trial station and they will discuss the proposals on 10 April.

The boat likely to be put on station would come from the Atlantic class, which is the top-of-the-range for the RNLI’s inshore boats. The boat can be at sea for up to 2.5hours, has a top speed of 35 knots and requires a crew of three or four volunteers.

The RNLI has already had a station on two occasions at Stonehaven. The charity operated there from 1867 to 1934, and from 1967 to 1984, launching 97 times and rescuing 72 people.

RNLI Media Contacts: Richard Smith, Public Relations Manager for Scotland, 07786 668903, Press Office (24/7) 01202 336789. Email Richard_Smith2@rnli.org.uk