Byline: The RNLI has a constant task of improving the facilities around the coast to ensure it can maintain its role of saving lives at sea.
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The latest plan for such improvements includes several stations around the Bristol Channel, one of which is Weston super Mare. To this end the RNLI has started The Bristol Channel RNLI fundraising appeal that will be collecting funds for a number of lifeboat projects in the area.  This will include the new lifeboat station being constructed by the RNLI at Portishead and a future upgrade of facilities for the charity’s team at Weston super Mare.  

Many will be aware that the facilities under which the volunteers of Weston-super-Mare RNLI have to operate are deteriorating. The pier along which the crews have to run to get to their boats is in poor condition, the lifeboats have had to be protected by a temporary ‘tent’ and the facilities for the crew themselves in the boathouse do not come up to modern standards.  All this coincides with the RNLI working to adopt the neighbouring Portishead Lifeboat Trust and construct a new lifeboat station.

As a result the RNLI has launched a Bristol Channel Fundraising Appeal. This is an umbrella initiative which at this stage will include the construction of a new Portishead Lifeboat station and the upgrading of the Weston super Mare facilities. It will also allow for future projects at RNLI lifeboat stations around the Bristol Channel.

As part of this appeal the Weston Super Mare volunteer crew and fundraisers are starting work to raise funds to improve their conditions. Peter Elmont, Chair of the Weston super Mare RNLI fundraising branch, explains more:

‘At this stage we do not know exactly what we will be doing to improve our facilities and at present we have several feasibility studies under way with all possible options being considered. However we need to start raising money now so we will have the funds ready for when the decisions have been made and the work can begin. It’s not possible to say at this stage how much will be needed but it is likely to be many hundreds of thousands of pounds by the time the work is completed.’

‘We hope that all the events being held by the Weston RNLI team this year will be bigger and better than in previous years. A Raft Race will take place on the Marine Lake on Saturday 27th July. The RNLI Open Day at Anchor Head on July 28th will include a demonstration by the RAF Air Sea Rescue Helicopter. We work regularly with ‘Rescue 169’ and there will be a demonstration of the crew being lifted into the helicopter just in front of the audience. Barry Dock all weather lifeboat will be there. There will also be many other demonstrations at Anchor Head on that day.’

‘The annual Lifeboat Week will start with a Grand Opening on the Grand Pier on August 10th. During the week there will be a programme of events on the Italian Gardens and High Street in Weston, including a Children’s Day. A sandcastle competition will also be held. Further details will follow when finalised.
Lifeboat Week will end with an Emergency Services Day on the Beach Lawns on August 17th. All of the rescue services, Fire, Police, Ambulance and Coastguard will be there with the Air Ambulance flying in and many other rescue services such as Cave Rescue, 4 by 4 Response, the Blood Bikes and St Johns Ambulance will be present. There will also be various vintage rescue vehicles present and it will be possible to compare these vehicles, vital in their day, with their modern equivalent.’

‘On Sunday 18th August we will be welcoming the Newfoundland Dogs who will demonstrate their life saving skills on the Marine Lake. Many other events will be organised and we will send out details as they become available.’

The Appeal is being led by Peter Elmont, the chair of Weston-super-Mare Fundraising Branch. Any suggestions, offers of help or donations to him; 01934 418920, Peter.elmont@virgin.net 

RNLI Notes to Editors
• The attached picture shows the RNLI Boathouse on Birnbeck Island

RNLI media contacts
For further information, please contact Weston-super-Mare RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer Glyn Hayes on 07774 181418 or glyn.hayes@bcs.org

Lifeboats in service at Weston-super-Mare

Atlantic 75 class Lifeboat named Coventry and Warwickshire
D-Class Lifeboat named Anna Stock

The station was established in 1882 at the request of the local inhabitants and moved into its current boathouse in 1902.

To find out more information about Weston-super-Mare lifeboat and for recent events, please log onto our website or contact Glyn Hayes on 07774 181418.


Byline: Alderney’s volunteer RNLI crew were in action twice last night (Wednesday 29 May).
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In the first incident they had to secure the 11-metre charter angling boat Lone Shark which was carrying 12 people when it hit a rock 1.1/2 miles south-east of the island and began taking in water.
Alderney’s lifeboat Roy Barker I launched at 5.44pm and was on scene in a little over 10 minutes. Meanwhile, another nearby professional angling vessel Tiger Lily, also Weymouth-registered, had taken the crew and passengers off Lone Shark. Two RNLI crew members were transferred to Lone Shark together with her skipper and a salvage pump. At 7.15pm Alderney’s pilot boat was launched to provide an extra salvage pump.
There were no personal injuries and Lone Shark was towed alongside Braye Harbour’s Commercial Quay and, shortly before 8pm was craned out of the water by harbour staff.
The Trent class lifeboat was about to be stood down when, at 8pm the lone skipper of the local fishing boat Cygnet reported engine trouble near Bibette Head at the entrance to Braye Bay. The lifeboat turned and, by 8.20pm had towed the local boat safely back to her mooring in Braye Harbour. 

RNLI contact

For more information please contact Nigel Soane-Sands, Alderney RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer, on 01481 823448 or 07781 101 957.   Email: nigel@soanesands.com



Byline: Tours of the RNLI all-weather lifeboat Ernest & Mabel are now available in Weymouth.
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Traditionally the only time that members of the public could have a guided tour of Weymouth RNLI all-weather lifeboat Ernest and Mabel was as part of lifeboat week. 

That has now changed thanks to RNLI supporter Jim Fegan who, following a successful trial last year, has decided to offer guided tours of the lifeboat on Tuesday & Thursday mornings. There will be two tours on each of those days with the first at 10.30 am and the next at 11.30 am, each tour lasting for approxrimately an hour. 

Jim says that each group is limited to a total of 12 people and they will have to book in advance at the RNLI shop in Weymouth. The tours will be free but it is hoped that those on the tours will make a small donation to the RNLI which being a charity relies solely on public donations.

RNLI contact

For more information please contact Weymouth lifeboat station on 01305 785817. 


Byline: The volunteer crew of Eastbourne inshore lifeboat (ILB) were kept busy on Sunday with three emergency callouts in addition to their routine training exercise
Page Content: Following their normal Sunday training the crew were re-launched to recover the body of a dog which had fallen from the cliffs at Belle Tout whilst chasing Gulls. The Lurcher was taken back to the ILB station where the distraught owner was comforted by the crew.

Later in the afternoon the ILB was launched to Pevensey Bay in response to 999 calls from members of the public. A dinghy sailor was in difficulties in the gusty wind conditions and was tipped out of her craft. A windsurfer had gone to the sailor’s aid but he too suffered a mishap when the mast of his craft separated from the board. The sailor, who despite being well equipped was suffering the effects of being in the water for a considerable time, was taken aboard the lifeboat. The windsurfer having abandoned his board and now in the dinghy was towed ashore by the ILB. Once ashore the lifeboat crew treated the female casualty for suspected hypothermia before passing her into the care of the ambulance service.

Shortly after returning to station the lifeboat crew were tasked again to Pevensey Bay because the windsurfer rescued earlier had put to sea in the recovered dinghy and was giving cause for concern to bystanders on the beach. The ILB stood by whilst the sailor made his own way ashore where safety advice was offered by the volunteer crew.      


Byline: The volunteer lifeboat crew with Lough Ree RNLI launched today (Tuesday 28 May) at 12.08pm to a sinking cruiser south of Athlone, with six men onboard.
Page Content: The vessel was reported to have struck an object under the water and was holed and taking in water.  When the lifeboat arrived on scene they moved quickly to take the six men, believed to be in their twenties, off the sinking cruiser.

The lifeboat crew took the first three men off the vessel and brought them the short distance to Athlone before returning to take the remaining three off the vessel.  With all six men safely ashore the lifeboat crew returned to the scene and observed that the vessel was submerged with only the bow visible out of the water.

They alerted the Coast Guard and Waterways Ireland to issue a warning to other marine traffic in the area before returning to the lifeboat station.

Commenting on the callout Lough Ree RNLI Operations Manager Damien Delaney said, “I am relieved that all six people onboard the cruiser were recovered safely as the water was coming in quickly. All the men remained calm and listened to the instruction of the lifeboat crews, which resulted in a safe and speedy evacuation with nobody injured.”


RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager on 087 1254 124 or 01 8900 460 email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 087 6483547 or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789


Byline: The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), in conjunction with Fowey and Salcombe harbours, is piloting a new scheme this summer to promote wearing lifejackets in tenders.
Page Content: The new ‘Lifejacket Lockers’ initiative will see special lockers placed at the head of the main tender pontoons at Fowey and Salcombe harbours, offering short-term secure storage of lifejackets for those visiting the shore.

In 2012, the RNLI attended 71 incidents involving tenders and three of these led to fatalities.  RNLI research has found that boat users can often be put off wearing their lifejacket aboard their tender because of the ‘hassle factor’ of having nowhere secure to store them, and therefore having to carry them around town in bulky bags once ashore. 

The lockers will be in place from mid-June to mid-September. There will be 12 lockers at each location, enough for around a quarter of the yachts that visit each night. Each locker is big enough to hold four lifejackets.

Pip Hare from the RNLI’s Coastal Safety team is leading the trial. She says:

‘Attitudes towards wearing lifejackets have improved immensely but RNLI research has found that boat users will often leave their lifejackets on board their main vessel when they take their tender to shore. Carrying a bulky lifejacket around town can be a hindrance, so the RNLI has developed the Lifejacket Lockers idea, offering boat users a secure and convenient means of storing their lifejackets once ashore – we’re hoping this will encourage more people to wear their lifejackets on their tenders and, ultimately, help save more lives.

‘We’re working in conjunction with Salcombe and Fowey harbours – two very busy locations – to pilot the scheme this summer. If the lockers are well used, which we hope they will be, then we’ll look to expand the scheme further over the coming years by collaborating with other harbours nationwide.’

Notes to Editors
• Two images are attached showing the locations of the lockers at Fowey and Salcombe harbours. Credit RNLI.
• More information on choosing and maintaining lifejackets is available at: http://www.rnli.org/safetyandeducation/stayingsafe/seasafety/Pages/Lifejackets.aspx?gclid=CNzts_mti7cCFfQZtAodBX0APg]

RNLI media contacts
For more information, contact Laura Fennimore, RNLI Public Relations Officer, on 01202 663181 or Laura_Fennimore@rnli.org.uk.


Byline: At 2118 hrs on Sunday 26th May, 2013 Belfast Coastguard contacted Helensburgh RNLI Lifeboat after several reports were received that three Red Distress Flares had been fired in the vicinity of Rosneath Bay.
Page Content: The Lifeboat was launched and, after a thorough search of the area by the Lifeboat, Kilcreggan Coastguard and the Police, it was concluded that the flares had been fired from land.  The Lifeboat returned to base.


Byline: Volunteer lifeboat crew with Larne RNLI launched this afternoon when three people got into difficulty at Portmuck near Islandmagee.
Page Content: A male swimmer tried to help when he witnessed a woman and child being blown out to sea on an inflatable dinghy. However the swimmer was unable to reach the pair who were drifting dangerously out to sea.

Larne RNLI was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 5pm and was on scene minutes later.  They located the dinghy with the two onboard about a mile from shore and were alerted to the position of the swimmer some distance away.  They immediately went to the exhausted man and recovered him onto the lifeboat before taking the woman and child onto the lifeboat. 

The three were met on shore by members of Portmuck coastguard, where they were checked for injuries.  All three were shaken but not hurt by their ordeal.  The lifeboat crew destroyed the dinghy and brought it back to shore.

Speaking on the callout Larne RNLI lifeboat helm Pamela Dorman said, “Thankfully all three people involved were safely brought home.  The swimmer saw what was happening and tried to help but the dinghy was acting as a sail and being blown further out to sea with the occupants unable to control it.  He was exhausted, which is why we recovered him first into the lifeboat before returning to the dinghy and rescuing the woman and child. 

While the weather was good there was a strong wind. Inflatables can easily be blown out to sea and are not ideal for the coast.”

Larne RNLI volunteer crewmembers Christopher Dorman and Barry Kirpatrick were the two other lifeboat crew on the callout.


RNLI media contacts
For information please contact Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager on 00 353 1 8900 460 or 00 353 87 1254 124 email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 00 353 87 6483547 email Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk