Our B class Atlantic 85 is 5 years old on Wednesday 4 December 2013, having been placed on service at Poole Lifeboat Station on 4 December 2008.
She's been our faithful servant on 474 rescues and with our crews has saved over 10 people and rescued over 500 people.
At the moment she's having a bit of spruce up at the Inshore Lifeboat Centre (ILC) in East Cowes, Isle of Wight, and you can check out her progress on the ILC webcams. Just look out for the number 826.
Happy Birthday Sgt Bob and we look forward to having you back soon.
And keep checking back in the next week or so for another special birthday ...
It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Howard Paine. Howard was a true gentleman and part of the Poole Lifeboat family, and we pay tribute to him.
Howard promoted the work of the station and volunteer crew as an RNLI speaker, visiting many schools and organisations like the cubs. His school assemblies were highly sought after as he had a great gift in inspiring the children through his own enthusiasm and keeping them interested, for instance with vivid videos and tales of the high seas.
The photo below shows Howard with the Colehill Cubs at an SOS fundraising event a few years ago; Howard had just given a talk and played a video clip to the children, something he loved doing.
Photo credit: RNLI/Poole
Howard's skill at sharing key safety messages in his assemblies and talks will help these youngsters to grow up to respect the sea, stay safe and maybe even fundraise themselves for the RNLI. Howard was also a member of the Visits Team at Poole Lifeboat Station and a volunteer tour guide at RNLI College.
Howard will be sorely missed by all who knew him, and our thoughts are with his wife Hilary and his family at this sad time.
November's edition of Dorset Life - The Dorset Magazine features an article entitled 'Eight-minute warning' which looks behind the scenes at Poole Lifeboat Station.
Reporter Nick Churchill interviewed Jon Clark, long-serving Coxswain at Poole Lifeboat Station, and one of the younger crew members, Anthony Skerman.
The article gives an insight into Jon's many years of experience with the RNLI as well as what it was like for Anthony growing up with his Dad on the volunteer crew.
The three photos published with the article were all taken by Dave Riley, Poole's Deputy Second Coxswain and ILB Helm (and resident photographer!).
The magazine is being delivered free to some properties in Poole, so look out for yours or visit your local newsagent for a copy!
Poole's all-weather lifeboat safely delivered Father Christmas to the quay on Sunday morning to be greeted by a crowd of wellwishers.
This is an annual tradition in Poole and starts the Christmas parade in which Father Christmas makes his way up the High Street to Falkland Square and the Dolphin Shopping Centre.
Poole crew members are always happy to be involved with this festive event!
Photo credit: Dave Riley
For more photos, visit our photo gallery.
On Sunday 10 November 2013, at the 11th hour of the 11th month, members of Poole Lifeboat Station will be attending the annual Remembrance Parade and Service in Poole Park, and crew volunteers will also be laying a wreath at sea from the all-weather and inshore lifeboats.
In Poole Park, crew members, station personnel and fundraising representatives will be alongside veterans, serving soldiers, civic leaders, families and members of the community to pay their respects and thanks for those who have fallen in conflict – and to those who continue to put themselves in harm's way.
The service will start at 10.50am, with the 2-minute silence being observed at 11am, followed by the wreath-laying, so please come along and support everyone to mark the occasion in a time-honoured tribute in memory of those who have died in the First and Second World Wars as well as modern conflicts in which the British and Commonwealth services have fought and are continuing to fight.
Photo: RNLI Poole/Rob Inett
Our Atlantic 85 B-826 Sgt Bob Martin (Civil Service No. 50) has left us for a few weeks for a refit at the Inshore Lifeboat Centre (ILC) at East Cowes on the Isle of Wight.
We now have the relief lifeboat B-865 Malcolm and Mona Bennett-Williams, which will be with us for approximately 12–14 weeks.
You can follow the progress of Sgt Bob's refit on the ILC webcams. Just look out for the number 826.
For operational reasons, the relief lifeboat has now been changed to B-825 Norma Ethel Vinall.
Photo: RNLI Poole/Paul Taylor
It is with great sadness that we share the news that Paul Singleton has passed away. Our thoughts go out to Janice, Elli and Lewis.
Affectionately known as Flipper, Paul has been a huge part of Poole lifeboat crew since 1982 and will be sadly missed by all.
In over 30 years he served as Crew, Senior Helmsman and Second Coxswain on three inshore and three all-weather lifeboats and carried out over 1,600 shouts and saved 108 people. Always smiling and a natural comedian, Flipper's cheerful remarks have put quite a few seafarers at ease in difficult situations.
Paul was on several call outs that received RNLI recognition and Letters of Appreciation, including one from the Director after a successful rescue and resuscitation of a lady off Bournemouth Beach in 1996. Paul received both 20-year and 30-year Long Service Badges for his dedication, commitment and continuous service on the lifeboat and he has also received The Queen's Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals.
He also represented the station and RNLI at many events, including meeting The Queen at St James's Palace in London at an event for prominent members of the seafaring community in 2007. In the same year Paul was awarded a BBC Community Champion Award.
Well known around the coast, Paul has taken many lifeboats on passage and served at other stations as relief Coxswain. Away from the station Paul was Skipper of Poole Harbour Commissioner's tug Herbert Ballam.
Our thoughts are very much with Paul's family and friends.
You are always our champion Flip. Rest in peace.
The funeral was held on Saturday 2 November at 11am at St James's Church, Poole. Donations, if desired, to Marie Curie Poole may be made online or sent to Tapper Funeral Service, 32/34 Parkstone Road, Poole BH15 2PG.Bournemouth Echo's tribute.
It is with sadness that we announce that Doug Kingsbury, long standing colleague and friend of many lifeboat crew and officials, died on 6 October 2013.
Doug was the Poole Lifeboat Chairman in the late 1990s and, along with his wife Pat, they were great ambassadors and supporters of the Poole lifeboat crew and family. Doug was a true gentleman, very supportive and an active chairman. We send our condolences to his family.
Representatives from the lifeboat station will attend his funeral service on at Poole Crematorium on Friday 18 October at 10.30am. Family flowers only please. Donations, if desired, to The Rotary Club of Poole, which may be made online at Tapper Funeral Service.
As a mark of respect and acknowledgement of all that he did for the Poole lifeboat, the RNLI flag will be lowered at the station on Friday. God bless you Doug. You will be sadly missed.
Poole lifeboat crew were in attendance when a new community cafe officially opened in Hamworthy, Poole.
The Snack Box, adjoining Blandford Road Post Office, was opened by businesswoman Michelle Belcher, who owns and runs the adjoining Post Office and Gift Box and is the wife of Poole Lifeboat Station's Third Mechanic Wayne Belcher.
The opening coincided with the World's Biggest Coffee Morning, in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, and was opened in memory of the Michelle's mother who had Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Michelle ran the Race for Life in 2012 and held a coffee morning in the post office, raising £500. From that came the idea to build the beach hut-themed cafe, using money left by her mother and father Marius, who died of kidney cancer 11 years ago.
Michelle said: 'Snack Box is a great way to forge friendships over coffee and cake, lunches and cream teas.'
And the crew can vouch for the fact that the coffee and cakes are yummy! So why not go along and try it out.
A group of over 20 vintage motorbikes from the South Dorset Vintage Motorcycle Club roared up to Poole Lifeboat Station this morning on their annual 'Lifeboat run', which sees them visit Poole, Swanage and Weymouth Lifeboat Stations in the same day.
The bikers, who were greeted by volunteer crew members, didn't come empty handed as they presented the station with a fantastic cheque for £100.
As the cheque was being presented the pagers rang out and the volunteer crew members dashed off and launched the ILB to go to assist a broken down vessel east of Boscombe Pier (see latest shouts).
Undeterred, several volunteer fundraisers served the bikers with refreshments before they headed off on their way to Swanage Lifeboat Station, only for the crew there to also be paged and both Swanage lifeboats launched.
We're not sure if it was a hat-trick of launches when the bikers arrived at Weymouth, but it was an eventful run and they received a warm welcome as always at Poole!
September sees the launch of an exciting new book and exhibition showcasing nearly a decade's work by professional photographer and volunteer crew member Nigel Millard.
The new book, entitled 'The Lifeboat: Courage on our Coasts', features almost 500 images of RNLI life around the UK and Ireland, and gives an insight into the day-to-day work of the RNLI.
An open-air exhibition of photos from the book will also visit six locations in the UK and Ireland, so do go along if you get the chance. The first exhibition opens in Birmingham on 26 September.
To discover the full exhibition dates and locations, or to order a copy of the book, please visit the main RNLI website.
The team from Watersafe UK Search & Rescue Team (WUKSART) have sadly had to postpone their round Britain challenge due to a technical fault with their RIB. The team set off from Poole Lifeboat Station on Monday 9 September but experienced mechanical problems on their first and second legs and determined that it was unsafe to continue their challenge.
In their official press release, the team explained that they had noticed water ingress approximately 5 hours into Day 1 and again in heavy seas and high winds on Day 2 following overnight repairs. The team's boat has now been re-called by its manufacturers for extensive assessment as the cause of the problem is currently unclear.
The press release concludes: 'The team are immensely disappointed but feel passionately about completing the challenge in its entirety. As almost all the 999 Coastal Challenge team work for the emergency services and are unable to extend their leave further the team now plans to re-start the challenge in 2014.'
'We would like to thank everyone for all the support and praise we have received. Our sponsors have been amazing and we owe it to them to return next year to complete we said we would attempt. To circumnavigate the British Coastline in 9 days, 9 hours and 9 minutes.'
Good luck to the WUKSART team and fingers crossed for next year!
A team of ten adventurers set off from Poole Lifeboat Station at 7.30am on the first leg of their challenge to circumnavigate Britain in a RIB.
The unique challenge will see the team steer a small, 5 metre open Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) clockwise around the 1,999 miles of the British coastline in just 9 days, 9 hours and 9 minutes and has been dubbed the '999 Coastal Challenge'.
The team, made up of members of the Watersafe UK Search & Rescue Team (WUKSART) will leave Poole, Dorset on the 9 September and visit 8 other lifeboat stations around Britain at Bude, Beaumaris, Stranraer, Kyle of Lochalsh, Wick, North Berwick, Cleethorpes and Ramsgate before finishing at the RNLI College in Poole on 17 September. They aim to raise £20,000 for the RNLI and Watersafe UK Search & Rescue.
Four people from the team will crew the boat for each individual leg. As well as a helmsman, there will be a navigator and two safety officers to ensure the safety of the boat and crew during the trip.
Their arrival in Poole on Sunday afternoon wasn't without incident however as they responded to a call by the coastguard 'for any vessels in the vicinity' to assist a windsurfer stranded on the beach off Brownsea Island. They took him back safely ashore to Baiter Slipway and then proceeded to Poole Lifeboat Station where Lifeboat Operations Manager Rod Brown was on hand to welcome them and help moor the RIB alongside the ALB 'City of Sheffield'. Lifeboat Press Officer Anne-Marie Clark also welcomed the team with afternoon tea!
Photos above: The WUKSART team arriving in Poole ahead of their challenge
Nigel Cobb, Challenge Team Leader, said: 'As operational members of WUKSART, a voluntary search and rescue team, we are used to challenges and raising large amounts of money for charity but this is by no means a small feat and is our most challenging project to date. Not only have we set ourselves the task of circumnavigating the coastline in a target time but we've also set ourselves a goal of raising a minimum of £20,000 for the RNLI and WUKSART.'
Paul Boissier, RNLI Chief Executive, who came to Poole Lifeboat Station to see the team off, said: 'This is a tough challenge and I wish the team the very best of luck. As a charity, the RNLI relies on selfless people like this raising money for us and I thank them for their hard work in person.'
Photos above: The RIB slips its mooring alongside the ALB and sets off on its challenge
Poole's ILB will meet the team out in the harbour and escort them back to the station on their return on Tuesday 17 September.
Check out more photos of the team's arrival and departure from Poole on our photo gallery, and you can follow the team's progress and donate to the challenge by visiting www.999coastalchallenge.co.uk.
On Saturday 7 September 2013, it will be 175 years since 22-year-old Grace Darling braved a treacherous storm and took to the high seas in a rowing boat, to rescue the survivors of a wrecked cargo ship that had hit rocks in 1838.
The RNLI will be celebrating Grace's endeavours by reliving her famous rescue, moment by moment, in real time, via the @RNLI Twitter feed. And this is where you come in ...
Rather than simply letting words tell the story (in bursts of 140 characters), we'd love to illustrate this tale of events with a medley of creative content – illustrated Instagram animations, stop-motion Vine clips, InstaCartoon images, colourful infographics, Lapse It or Frameograph videos, your own Storify perhaps, or go completely offline and draw a Manga cartoon or do a watercolour painting – you name it!
But check out this great modern-day search and rescue animation on YouTube using Lego characters first – we love it!
So if you're up to it, email your creation (or preferably a link to it, so as not to swamp our inbox!) to us no later than midday on Friday 6 September. Check on our Grace Darling Storify for further details.
Any questions? Tweet @RNLI or email email@example.com.
Over the last few months Sea Safety Teams from Poole Lifeboat Station have been carrying out Lifejacket Clinics in places such as Salterns, Cobbs Quay and Poole Quay Boat Haven.
Of the 206 lifejackets checked, 19 of them would have failed to work in an emergency situation and so these checks have potentially saved 19 lives.
Most of the lifejackets checked didn't have crutch straps or lights and most of them had out-of-date firing heads. While the Sea Safety Team that carried out the checks assumed that most of them might have worked, nearly 10% of them would definitely not have blown up the jacket and might have left the owner in the water with a lifejacket in difficult conditions.
Lifejackets, if properly worn and in good condition, are designed to keep your airways clear of water, even if you are unconscious or injured. When they are inflated to sufficient buoyancy, they are able to turn your body over and bring your head and face out of the water, when conscious or unconscious, keeping you protected.
Poole Lifeboat Sea Safety Officer Chris Holloway says: 'If worn, a lifejacket will increase your survival time and therefore increase the chances of being found safe and well during a search and rescue situation.
'Lifejackets do not last forever though! You should inspect your lifejacket regularly for wear and tear, and have it serviced in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.
'Although the Summer season is coming to an end, with the continuing good weather we know that many of you will continue to enjoy your sailing and boating on the water into the Autumn and Winter months. If anyone would like their lifejacket checked then please get in touch for a free inspection on 07712 868115 or 01202 665607 (Station) or email.'
Please stay safe.
Our Twitter account @PooleLifeboats may only have started just over 2 months ago but we've already got 479 followers (and counting).
Play around with this number and you get 947 who also like us on Facebook.
It's not quite a palindromic number but nevertheless we'd love these numbers to increase and get to 500 Followers and 1,000 Likes.
So please Tweet us and Facebook us and help us get to these magic numbers and more.
We look forward to all you Twitterers and Facebookers following us and liking us!
The RNLI Sustainability team would like your children to get designing environmental posters this Summer holiday for a special RNLI poster competition!
There will be prizes for the top three entries, and the RNLI intends to display as many of the posters as it can over the next year around the Poole site and our other locations across the UK.
Check out what to do, the rules of the competition, prizes and ideas for your poster here and get arty! Good luck!
It might still be Summer but the RNLI needs you to think about Christmas now!
If you know someone between the ages of 7 and 16 years who likes getting creative, then this is a great competition for them - to design a Christmas card that could go on sale across the UK and RoI, helping to raise funds for the RNLI.
You can find out more about the competition, including the great prizes on offer, by taking a look at this poster.
The design can be traditional, modern or funny, but must be based on one of three themes - The Rescue, Coastal Christmas or Christmas for the Crew. We are looking for a variety of imaginative and colourful festive ideas using a wide range of materials.
Visit the competition webpage to find out all the details you need to get your youngsters entering!
The RNLI has launched a new drowning awareness and water safety campaign – Respect the Water – which is being trialled throughout August in Sussex, Kent and Hampshire and aims to highlight the risks around the coast, with the long-term goal of reducing the number of incidents and fatalities.
Although not taking place in Poole and Dorset, over the Summer many of us will head to the water to cool down and relax but remember that the coast can be a dangerous environment. The campaign highlights:
The campaign, which offers key safety tips, has a particular focus on men aged 25–65, as this demographic represents the biggest number of fatalities.
James Haskell, England Rugby International and London Wasps flanker launched the Respect the Water campaign on Friday 9 August and says: This campaign is about being smart and safe when you are in the water. The water is the opponent that never tires, so make sure you're never put to the test.'
Check out the RNLI's top tips for staying safe at the coast.
Thousands of visitors and perfect weather contributed to one of the best Poole Lifeboat Station Open Days ever on Sunday 4 August 2013.
The volunteer lifeboat crew members, fundraising team and colleagues from RNLI HQ worked tirelessly to prepare for their biggest day of the year and their efforts paid off.
The weather was very kind to the thousands of people who visited the lifeboat station on Poole Quay to enjoy the many stalls and attractions.
The crowd were also treated to several lifeboat and lifeguard rescue demonstrations from a swimmer in difficulties to a sinking boat. The Mayor of Poole, Councillor Philip Eades, also took time out of his busy schedule together with his wife Helen to support the volunteers.
Despite the lifeboat crew spending several hours of the previous night rescuing a yacht they kept smiling to the very end of the day.
One visitor who also had a lot to smile about was Mrs Carpenter from Poole who won the first prize in the Grand Open Day Raffle. Attending the lifeboat station the following day to collect her prize Mrs Carpenter said: 'We were having a leisurely walk along the Quay and decided to call in and have a look. Rather than put some money in the collecting box I decided to buy a raffle ticket.'
Lifeboat Operations Manager, Rod Brown said: 'All of us at the lifeboat station would like to thank everyone who attended our open day, your support and obvious enjoyment has made it a massive success for us. Please come again next year.'
A signed football shirt donated by AFC Bournemouth can still be won via an online auction until 6pm on Sunday 11 August 2103. You can find the details of this on ebay and see lots of Open Day pictures.
In the current ITV series of Harbour Lives, Ben Fogle follows people who live and work in and around Poole Harbour – the largest natural harbour in Europe and an area of outstanding beauty.
The 8-part series has so far featured members of Poole lifeboat crew in Episodes 5 and 6.
Episode 5 saw Crew Member Pete Smith working alongside Ben Fogle on an oyster eco-harvester belonging to Storm restaurateur/fisherman Pete Miles.
Poole lifeboat crew feature twice in the Summer issue of the South West edition of Compass, on the front page and on page 3.
Our new trainees star on page 1, illustrating their first four months of training, while Crew Member Rob Inett headlines on page 3 after he put his casualty care training to the test away from the water when he came across a high-speed road crash on the M2.
On Friday 5 July, competition winner Joshua Moutray was joined by his classmates from ELM Academy Bournemouth to see a 5m wide banner featuring his lifeboat of the future design taking pride of place in front of the construction site of the All-weather Lifeboat Centre in Poole.
Runners up Kayla Brooks and Megan Bishop, both 10 years old and from ELM Academy Bournemouth, were also special guests at the unveiling event.
RNLI judge Pete Eyre, a senior naval architect, who designed the hull of our most advanced lifeboat, the Shannon class, says: 'All the entries were fantastic and very inspiring but it was Joshua's picture that stood out. I especially liked the innovative spring designed to pluck casualties out of the water, what a great idea!'
After seeing his winning design on the banner, Joshua said: 'I felt really happy to win the competition and I really enjoyed the visit. My favourite part of the day was driving the lifeboat in the simulator.'
Check out all the entries for the competition here.
Nearly 45 years ago, the Liverpool class lifeboat George Elmy was stationed at Poole Lifeboat Station for 2 years from 1969 until 1971.
Originally built in 1950, the lifeboat was originally stationed at Seaham Lifeboat Station (now closed), and was then part of the relief fleet before coming to Poole in 1969.
Tragically, 7 years earlier, the George Elmy capsized during a rescue in huge seas off Seaham in November 1962, claiming the lives of five volunteer crew members who are remembered on the RNLI Memorial outside the RNLI College in Poole. Four of five fishermen who had just been rescued by the vessel also died.
Now, over 50 years later, the lifeboat has been taken back to Seaham after being spotted for sale on an internet auction site and purchased by the East Durham Heritage Group.
Fully restored, a flotilla of RNLI lifeboats from Sunderland, Tynemouth and Hartlepool provided a guard of honour when she sailed back into port on Sunday 23 June 2013. Before entering the town's marina, the lifeboat stopped at the site of the capsize for the crew to lay a wreath in memory of those lost 51 years earlier.
Hundreds of people turned up to witness a formal blessing and renaming ceremony close to where the original one was held almost 63 years ago.
The lifeboat will now take pride of place in the former Seaham Lifeboat Station, which has been renovated as part of the development of Seaham's North Dock and now forms part of the East Durham Heritage and Lifeboat Centre.
Photos: Adrian Don
Tombola prizes are needed to boost the funds of Poole Lifeboat Station. We're looking for some great tombola prizes for our Lifeboat Station Open Day on Sunday 4 August 2013 so please check whether you have anything suitable.
Items of any value will be very welcome including chocolates, biscuits, jams, wine and spirits, fizzy drinks, gift tokens, toiletries, jewellery, candles, giftware, kitchenalia, sweets, cuddly toys, other toys and games, ornaments, souvenirs, mugs etc!
If you would like to donate a prize, please let us know by calling the lifeboat station on 01202 665607 to arrange a time to drop them off or for someone to pick them up.
Lifeboat volunteers from Poole were hosted by the Coastguard rescue helicopter crew and MRCC at Portland for an evening of training and familiarisation on Monday 24 June 2013.
The training visit was arranged by Poole lifeboat station mechanic, Paul Taylor, and included 6 trainee volunteer crew members. The team were shown over the 160 knot search and rescue helicopter and its equipment before running through a dry winching drill.
Photo above L: Trainee crew members Dave Bursey, Steve Porter and Lewis Singleton are shown the equipment aboard the search and rescue helicopter
Photo above R: Poole's shore crew member Will Collins sits in the harness for a dry winching exercise
Paul said, 'Our lifeboats can be expected to work with the helicopter at any time day or night during an incident and it is vital that our crew members have some knowledge of what is required of them beforehand from a procedural and safety point of view.'
The lifeboat crew later went on to visit the Portland Coastguard MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) in Weymouth for familiarisation of operations and equipment. Check out the photos in our gallery!
Poole volunteer crew and fundraisers took to the quay in force for Poole's annual pirate extravaganza!
Both Poole's lifeboats moored alongside the quay for most of the day, giving the public the opportunity to see them close-up and also step aboard the ALB. A host of crew members were on hand to speak to the public and lend their support to the event.
Photo above L: Aerial view of Poole lifeboats moored alongside the quay
Photo above R: An RNLI landrover tows an ILB along the quay
Meanwhile several volunteer fundraisers, including Adene West-Webber and Sara King, manned a sales stall on the quay close by the lifeboats, selling memorabilia and engaging with passers-by. The quay was really busy most of the day, despite the very blustery conditions!
Photo above L: Volunteers man the fundraising stall on the quay
Photo above R: Pirates, crew and fundraisers aboard the ALB
The day also saw Poole Fundraising Branch's former Chairman, Graham John, be presented with an award on his retirement by Poole's Lifeboat Management Chairman, Andy Whyte. The presentation was made aboard the ALB and crew and fellow fundraisers posed for photos afterwards. Congratulations Graham!
This Summer, Poole Lifeboat Station is holding a Grand Open Day Raffle for its Lifeboat Station Open Day, with the draw taking place on Sunday 4 August 2013 at 4.30pm.
Tickets cost £1 each and the current prize list includes:
If you would like to buy some raffle tickets or help to sell some for us, please contact Poole Lifeboat Station on 01202 665607.
Thank you for your support and good luck!
And keep checking the updated list of prizes.
As we come to the end of Volunteers' Week (1–7 June), we focus on one of our own volunteers, Sally Revell, who is one of our volunteer website editors.
Volunteers' Week is an annual celebration of the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK and is an opportunity to celebrate the individuals who donate their time and talents to the RNLI.
Take a look at our volunteer case studies, where you can find out what motivates Sally to be involved with Poole Lifeboat Station.
Have you ever thought about volunteering for Poole Lifeboat Station or Poole and District Fundraising Branch of the RNLI, or would you like to know more about what motivates our volunteers and the roles they perform? Then please visit the Volunteering section on our website.
During May 2013, St Michael's CE (VC) Primary School from Bournemouth visited Poole Lifeboat Station over 5 days in one week, as they have done for the last few years. With over 20 children visiting each day, a whole year group was able to find out about the crew and lifeboats and they even got to try on some of the kit.
Photo above left: Pupils learn about the ILB from volunteer Dave Bowman in the floating boathouse
Photo above right: Volunteer Bob Grieve talks to the children onboard the ALB (in the wheelhouse)
This was just one of many visits that take place during the course of the year at the lifeboat station, from groups including schools, Cubs and Brownies from the local area.
If you're interested in bringing a group to the station, please have a look at the Station Visits page and then contact Brenda John, our Lifeboat Visits Officer.
Brenda John, Lifeboat Visits Officer
Telephone: 01202 673027
Please visit our photo gallery to view more photos from St Michael's School visit.
On 31 May, an RNLI Triathlon Team of Rob Sheard, Rob Inett and James Fletcher competed again at the VUE National Emergency Services Triathlon Championships in Nottingham.
The team started this race as firm favourites, having won back-to-back national relay titles in 2011 and 2012, although their entry was a last-minute decision and only confirmed on the Sunday prior to the event.
With a record entry of 220 starters, Rob Sheard (RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, Thanet) swam an exceptional 750, exiting the water after 9.53 in first position. The timing chip was then handed over to Rob Inett (Lifeboat Crew, Poole) for a 20K cycling time trial, which went smoothly until he crashed spectacularly on the entry to T2 and had to carry his bike over the line.
James Fletcher, former RNLI Lifeguard and fundraising volunteer, then ran a solid 18.37 5K to bring the team home as first relay team across the line, and thus retain the national relay title for the third year in succession.
Their winning time of 1.01.37 was slightly slower than last year; Rob puts this down to a slower bike leg, which was the result of almost a month of no training and excess consumption of wedding cake!
James Fletcher also celebrated a double victory, having qualified for the Great Britain Team the weekend before to compete at the World Aquathlon (Swim-run) championships to be held in London in September.
Well done guys.
Check out more photos.
You will hopefully have read about 13-year-old Rachel Matthews' sterling fundraising efforts for Poole Lifeboat Station every day in May 2013.
It's also drawn attention from Cause4Opinion, which is a blog developed by a team of passionate fundraisers and philanthropists to encourage debate about the latest trends in fundraising, philanthropy and social enterprise.
On 24 May Laura Pedley posted about Rachel's innovative digital fundraising strategy, saying: 'I stumbled across her mission to raise money for RNLI in my Cause4 twitter timeline – I wasn't even following @RNLI at the time (which I have since rectified) – someone I was following must have retweeted them.'
Read Laura's blog about Rachel's efforts, which Laura thinks 'is one of the best personal fundraising efforts I have seen, and is certainly a fantastic example of how to utilise the digital arena for fundraising'.
We couldn't agree more!
Update: Check out the fantastic amount raised here.
Crew Member Rob Inett and Megan tied the knot on Saturday 18 May at Sankey Marine on the River Avon near Evesham, but even on their special day they were unable to leave lifeboating at home.
As the groom and friends headed downriver in two rescue boats, to pick up the bride and bring her to the wedding venue, they came across a person in the water who had fallen out of a rowing boat, so they carried out a quick rescue before carrying on with the planned event of the day.
The happy couple were married in the boathouse, where Rob had spent many happy times in his younger days, and were joined by family and friends, including RNLI lifeguards and Poole lifeboat crew.
As everyone enjoyed cream teas by the riverside, disaster was averted when the second rescue of the day took place as special guest 'teddy' fell into the water!
It seems that love is in the air at Poole Lifeboat Station as five crew members are taking the plunge into married life over the next year.
Over the last 2 months, two crew members have become Mr and Mrs (but not to each other!) and a third is due to get married in 2 weeks' time.
In March, Helmsman James Kilburn (aka JK) married his sweetheart Emma in a ceremony at Highcliffe Castle, followed by a reception at The Lord Bute. Although the 'weather was rubbish in the morning', says JK, there were smiles all round during the ceremony and drinks reception, with photos being taken on nearby Christchurch Beach.
JK is the first of the crew in the wedding line-up this year, so sorry girls, a few more eligible batchelors are about to be removed from the 'availability' list.
Then in April, new trainee Dave Bursey married Frances at St Mary's Church, Sixpenny Handley. And in May, Crew Member Rob Inett and Megan are due to get hitched at The Boathouse in Evesham, with the bride and groom leaving the wedding ceremony through traditional arched oars held aloft by fellow crew. Photos to follow.
Poole Lifeboat Station sends everyone all their very best wishes for a very happy life together.
Photos: Dave Riley. More photos...
It is with great sadness that Poole Lifeboat Station received news of the death of Bill Hayes, a former long-serving crew member, who died recently aged 92.
Affectionately known as Bill, Francis William George Hayes joined the crew in 1939 and served on the crew for 36 years until his retirement in 1975.
He served on six all-weather lifeboats – the Surf class lifeboat Thomas Kirk Wright from 1939–62 (which can still be seen in the Old Lifeboat Museum), the Liverpool class Bassett Green from 1962–69 and three relief Liverpool class lifeboats. He served as Second Coxswain from 1973–75 until his retirement just after the station received the Waveney class lifeboat.
During his time on the crew he served with four coxswains, including his father Frank Hayes, and was involved in many rescues. His brother Frank John Hayes was Mechanic and another brother was also a crew member.
Reg Brown, Frank Hayes and Bill Hayes (right) receiving Certificates of Service
Bill represented the RNLI and Poole Lifeboat Station at the VE Day Parade in London in May 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of the ending of the Second World War.
Bill had been a Coxswain of Poole Pilot cutters and had served in the Merchant Navy in the Second World War. As well as being a lifeboat crew member, Bill was a full-time fisherman, and worked on the ferries on the quay until a few years ago.
His funeral will be on Tuesday 30 April at 2.15pm at the Ashley Road Methodist Church, Poole.
At this time our thoughts are very much with Bill's family and friends.
As a mark of respect, we will be lowering the RNLI flag on Tuesday at the station and at the Old Lifeboat station on the quay where he served.
Photos: Andrew Hawkes Archive
10-year-old Joshua Moutray from ELM Academy Bournemouth has won the RNLI's competition for local schoolchildren to design their lifeboat of the future.
Joshua's design will be displayed on the wooden hoardings that will surround the build-site of the charity's new All-weather Lifeboat Centre at its Headquarters in Poole.
Joshua will be a special guest at the unveiling of his design (date to be announced), which will be displayed while the new lifeboat facility is built. Joshua and the two runners-up, Megan Bishop and Kayla Brooks both also 10-years old and from ELM Academy Bournemouth, have won a year's membership of Storm Force, the RNLI's lifeboat club for children.
The RNLI received many entries from local schoolchildren, but it was Joshua's design that caught the eye of RNLI judge Pete Eyre, who is a senior naval architect and designer of the charity's most advanced lifeboat, the Shannon class.
Twelve new trainees have just completed their first four months of shore-based training at Poole Lifeboat Station.
Some of the new crew have transferred from other lifeboat stations as they have moved to Poole for jobs, while the other new crew were selected following the lifeboat station's first ever successful Recruitment Open Day last September.
Anyone interested in volunteering in all sorts of roles was invited to come along and have a look around the lifeboat station and meet the crew and other fundraising and visits volunteers.
Having first made enquiries with the station, the twelve trainees, who range in age from 17 to 38, and work in several professions in Poole – web developers, physiotherapist, apprentice marine engineer, yard hand, stores person, student, RNLI trainer, designer, manufacturing manager – then checked with their employers to see if they could spare them in the event of a call out.
After their formal application and a medical, they then undertook their initial training, which has covered roles and responsibilities, personal protective equipment, lifeboat layout, knots, chartwork and emergency procedures.
Photo above left: New trainee Suzie Jupp checking the lifeboat layout on a training exercise
Photo above right: Lifeboat Training Coordinator Paul Taylor going through the tool compartment with new trainees Rob and Dave
Photo above left: New trainees Lewis, Joe and Graham enjoying a familiarisation training exercise
Photo above right: New trainee Steve checking over the navigation area of the Tyne class lifeboat
Following both written and practical assessments, the 12 new trainees are now working on their crew training development plan, which covers all aspects of becoming a fully-fledged crew member.
As their pagers rang out for the first time, which started their hearts racing, some have even been on their first call outs in the last week – the first of many!
Welcome to all the new crew and good luck with your training.
Check out more photos...
Poole lifeboat crew gathered at its annual dinner/dance to pay tribute to three members of the crew that have retired from service and to the station Mechanic who was presented with his 20 years' RNLI Long Service Badge.
Steve Axtell joined Poole lifeboat crew in 1996 and served until 2010, during which time 83 lives were saved. When Steve joined the crew he was a commercial diver and his knowledge and experience was a real asset. Steve's day job is still related to the water as he is a Fisheries Enforcement and Conservation Officer on the waters in and around Poole.
Stuart Newcombe joined the crew in 1998 and served until 2012 and during this time 81 lives were saved. Stuart was Deputy Coxswain and inshore lifeboat Helmsman. Stuart's day job is as Director and Principal of Principal Power Sea School where he instructs other people and shares his extensive knowledge of maritime activities.
John Vine joined the crew in 1999 and served until March 2013 during which time 63 lives were saved. John was inshore lifeboat Helmsman and a crew member on the all-weather lifeboat. His day job is a stevedore, working on the docks in Poole.
With their combined 42 years' service the lifeboat station and people of Poole are indebted to Steve, Stuart and John for their time and dedication that they have all selflessly given.
Paul Taylor was presented with his 20 years' Long Service Badge by Lifeboat Operations Manager Rod Brown. Paul joined St Davids Lifeboat Station in Pembrokeshire in 1993 at the age of 17 years and then relocated to Poole, becoming the full-time Mechanic at our lifeboat station in 2005. Paul is also the Lifeboat Training Coordinator, sharing his 20 years of knowledge with our new recruits – the future lifeboat crew.'
On Saturday evening, 13 April, while on the way home from assessing RNLI lifeguards in Margate, Poole lifeboat Crew Member Rob Inett came across a high-speed crash on the M2 between a lorry and an Audi. 'This must have happened a few minutes ahead of me so I stopped to see if all was okay and ended up there for an hour and a half inside the car doing airway and spinal management on the passenger who was unable to move and in a great deal of pain.'
Together with an off duty fireman, they applied a spinal collar and managed her regular vomiting while waiting an hour for the ambulance that was slowed by the backing traffic behind the accident. They also did their best to manage the driver, who was up and about but also in a great deal of pain.
Once the ambulance arrived, Rob then assisted paramedics to extract the passenger from the car to a spinal board and then to the ambulance, which took the passenger to hospital.
Rob said: 'Luckily I always carry a full casualty care kit in my vehicle, and the casualty and her partner seemed to be quite reassured that a trained RNLI volunteer was happy and willing to stop and help them until a paramedic arrived.'
As Rob's picture shows, the lorry stopped just a metre or so away from completely flattening the car. Another second or two and this would have been a very different kind of assistance.
Well done Rob. When something like this happens, it proves how useful and vital the RNLI's casualty care training can be.
Poole Lifeboat Station crew are now the proud owners of a special RNLI ceremonial flag – one of only two of its kind in the country.
The crew were presented with the flag by Poole-based construction company Morgan Sindall. The firm's Senior Project Manager Chris Holloway is a volunteer Deputy Launching Authority (DLA) and Lifeboat Sea Safety Officer (LSSO) at Poole Lifeboat Station.
The flag is used during ceremonies including the town's Armistice Day parade and Service of the Sea. It is the first RNLI flag to be permanently kept at a lifeboat station, while the other royal ceremonial standard kept at RNLI Headquarters is used for special occasions around the country and shared with other stations.
Chris said: 'The Poole office of Morgan Sindall undertakes a lot of work in the area, and we always try to give something back to the communities in which we operate. I've been a volunteer at Poole Lifeboat Station for over 12 years, and I knew how much having the standard meant to the staff and crew.'
Jonathan Clark, volunteer Coxswain at Poole Lifeboat Station, said: 'We are extremely grateful to Chris and Morgan Sindall for donating the flag to the station and we are looking forward to carrying it with pride on the next parade.'
Check out more photos ...
Photos: Samantha Cook Photography
Poole Lifeboat Helmsman and RNLI Naval Architect Ed Davies features in an article in the Winter 2012-13 issue of the RNLI Family magazine lookout about the new All-weather Lifeboat Centre at Poole.
On 10 January, the RNLI received planning permission from the Borough of Poole to build a facility at its Headquarters in Dorset to bring all-weather lifeboat production and maintenance in-house.
Poole ILB Helmsman and RNLI Naval Architect Ed Davies features in an article in the Winter 2012-13 issue of the RNLI Family magazine lookout about the new All-weather Lifeboat Centre at Poole.
The lookout article provides information about the project and includes an interview with Ed, who as volunteer crew member and Naval Architect, is uniquely positioned to talk about the benefits of the proposed new lifeboat build facility.
In his interview, Ed says that as a Naval Architect: 'If all goes to plan, in a couple of years' time, it'll be fantastic. I'll just walk downstairs and I'll be face to face with lifeboat production and the people working on the boats. We'll be able to discuss ideas and solve issues quickly and confidently, all within a facility designed for the smoothest flow of work. As a crew member I can trust that our lifeboat is built well. As an engineer I can make sure it is.'
The next stage of the project will see the old buildings cleared from the site, the sea wall rebuilt and the site raised to comply with flood defence requirements. Then, once a building contractor is appointed by the RNLI, construction work at the Holes Bay site can start.
The current lifeboat maintenance operation has moved to Cobbs Quay, across the water at Holes Bay, where the RNLI will be renting space temporarily until the new facility is up and running. If you'd like to have a look round our lifeboats at Cobbs Quay Marina, then come along to the Open Weekend on 13-14 April.
To keep up to date with the progress of the project, check out Build for a Lifesaving Future on the RNLI website.
Housing one of Poole's historic lifeboats, Thomas Kirk Wright, the old boathouse and souvenir shop at Fisherman's Dock at the end of Poole Quay offers the public a close-up view of the lifeboat and the history that surrounds it.
And it opens on Saturday, 23 March 2013 at 10am.
The museum crew have been busy Spring cleaning, rehousing all the spiders and restocking the shelves for the season ahead, with the shop in the Old Boathouse selling RNLI memorabilia, cards, gifts, clothing and nautical-themed items.
Proceeds from the gift shop itself will go directly to the RNLI in order to save lives at sea.
Last year, nearly 35,000 visitors walked through the door to find out about Poole lifeboat's historic past and also generously donated over £6,000.
We look forward to welcoming you if you haven't been to see us before or seeing you again this year. Please call in and say hello!
With localised flooding and snow blanketing much of the country, many beaches around the country are preparing for their first lifeguard patrols of the year this Easter, ensuring the safety of you and your family.
If you're planning on heading to the beach in this less than tropical weather then make sure you head to your nearest lifeguarded beach.
While many beaches are lifeguarded only throughout the Summer months, others are patrolled all year round and some from Easter.
Sandbanks, Bournemouth West and Bournemouth East will all be patrolled over the Easter period from 29 March to 12 April, and Boscombe East is patrolled all year.
Check out our safety tips too!
And let's hope the weather improves for you to enjoy our beautiful beaches!
An emotive film about the scale of the global drowning problem and the work needed to tackle it has been launched by the RNLI.
The short film features a moving account from a Senegalese man who lost his son and niece in a drowning tragedy last year. Drowning claims around 1.2 million lives worldwide each year - more than the number of people who die from malaria.
Most drownings happen in the world's poorest countries, which have either very limited lifesaving services, or none at all. In some countries, particularly in areas of Africa, Asia and South America, drowning is a leading cause of child death. The RNLI's international development programmes are aiming to reduce this staggering loss of life.
The film highlights the scale of the global drowning problem and profiles the lifeguard training programme the RNLI has been delivering in Senegal to help tackle the issue.
The RNLI has carried out similar work in Bangladesh, helping to set up the country's first ever coastal lifesaving service. The charity has also been working with countries including Cameroon, Kenya, Uganda, India and Brazil, delivering lifeguard training and swim survival training.
Photo: RNLI/Mike Lavis
Our trusty 47-023 City of Sheffield is now back home, safely moored alongside after a passage back from Cowes following her condition-based refit.
The crew left Poole at 6.30am to get to Cowes in time for a hearty breakfast before heading to Richardsons at Island Harbour Marina to pick the Tyne up.
In complete contrast to the weather we enjoyed taking her over to Cowes, the trip for the crew to bring her back saw her shrouded in thick fog, with visibility down to 20m for the first part of the passage – as we left Cowes we were unable to see the top of the Red Funnel car ferry!
It was good practice for the crew to test the LaserPlot, GPS, radar and eyesight though!
After a slower than wanted passage back, the sun tried to peak through as we neared Poole, arriving back at 12.30pm.
After refuelling, more crew then helped to swap the kit over and at 3.30pm, the crew took the relief Tyne class David Robinson up to Cobbs Quay Marina.
Thanks for looking after us David, but it's good to have our trusty City of Sheffield home.
Photo: RNLI/Anne-Marie Clark
Property guru and presenter Kirsty Allsop, famous for her Homemade Home and Location, Location, Location TV series, met station and fundraising volunteers when she opened the revamped B&Q at Fleetsbridge, Poole, on Friday 1 March 2013.
Kirsty took time out of her busy schedule to chat to our volunteers who were at B&Q and several of them took the opportunity to have their photo taken with her – including our full-time Welsh Mechanic Paul Taylor. Not only was it St Davids Day but it made his day meeting Kirsty!
Our fundraisers were kindly allowed to collect at B&Q over 3 days, and shoppers were greeted by Stormy Stan, an inshore lifeboat and the offer of some free safety advice. Thank you to everyone who turned up and supported the RNLI.
The newly-designed store is just one of three in the country which has been selected to trial B&Q's innovative, trend-led product development and layout, making it easier to shop with more help and advice centres and DIY workshops from £5 as well as a vibrant new collection of home accessories and solutions.
Check out more photos of the day ...
Photos: RNLI/(John Earnshaw and Dave Corke)
March 2013 is the month when anyone aged 55 or over can take advantage of the RNLI's offer to have their Will written or amended for free.
This is available across England and Wales during the month of March.
To find your nearest participating solicitors, just take a look at this list.
If there is not one near to where you live, don't worry. This offer will be available again in October, in different locations.
The RNLI works exclusively with schemes that only use solicitors who, unlike some other Will providers, are professionally qualified and regulated.
It is hoped that anyone who decides to make or amend their Will for free will also consider leaving a gift to the RNLI – although there is no obligation to do so.
Please note that the offer applies to simple Wills only. If your Will proves more complex then you may be asked to pay the difference.
A national DIY chain is celebrating the refurbishment of their Poole store by giving their local RNLI lifeboat station a quick makeover.
The expert 'just do it' team from B&Q descended on Poole RNLI Lifeboat Station this week armed with paint pots and rollers and got to work redecorating and completing the job in a matter of hours, making the crew and kit rooms look like new.
The RNLI lifeboat station Mechanic Paul Taylor said: 'Our lifeboat volunteers often have to carry out their tasks quickly but the B&Q staff certainly displayed some amazing skills and finished the job in no time at all. Everyone at the station is very grateful to the B&Q team.'
The store opening celebrations at Fleetsbridge, Poole, continue over the weekend from Friday (1 March 2013) and the RNLI volunteers will be attending together with an inshore lifeboat, Stormy Stan and the offer of some free safety advice.
Check out the times the RNLI team will be at B&Q.
Photo: RNLI/Claire-Marie Mason
Okay, we couldn't resist – everyone was Harlem Shaking this weekend, so the RNLI had to jump on the bandwagon!
Directed by Poole Crew Member Alex Evans, with Mechanic Paul assisting in the background (it's a shame we've just missed the Oscars), featured in the video are volunteer lifeboat crew from Poole – Dave, Oli, Glen, JK, Ed and Emma – Weymouth, The Lizard, St Helier, Moelfre, Wick, Eyemouth, Newcastle, Fenit, Mallaig, Aldeburgh and Portpatrick, as well as other RNLI College trainers, fundraisers and staff from lots of different departments at RNLI Headquarters. (Don't worry, it was lunchtime – they weren't skiving!)
The Harlem Shake is an internet meme – a concept that spreads from person to person via the internet and features an excerpt from the song Harlem Shake by electronic musician Baauer.
The concept behind the video is that it begins with one person (often helmeted or masked – in this case Rookie the Reindeer!) dancing to the song alone for 15 seconds, surrounded by other people not paying attention or unaware of Rookie. The video then cuts to the entire crowd doing a crazy convulsive dance for the next 15 seconds!
Check out the Harlem Shake!
And you can also vote in the #CharityShakeOff.
In a ceremony at RNLI College, on Thursday 14 February 2013, in front of family and friends, 20 volunteer crew members and station personnel of Poole RNLI Lifeboat Station were presented with Her Majesty The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medals by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset Mrs Anthony Pitt-Rivers on behalf of HM The Queen.
The ceremony was also attended by Her Worshipful the Mayor of Poole and Consort, Cllr Mrs Carol Evans and Mr Bryan Evans, The Sheriff of Poole Cllr Philip Eades and Miss Helen McDavid.
We're sure it wasn't quite what the crews' partners had in mind when their other halves invited them out for the evening but it was a great night for everyone to enjoy this memorable and well deserved occasion and to be proud of their achievements and be acknowledged for the work they do.
After presenting the medals, Mrs Pitt-Rivers praised the work of the RNLI and all the volunteer crew as well as the families who support them. 'They have shown dedication and courage in responding to maritime emergencies at any time of the day or night, sometimes in atrocious weather conditions to rescue those in distress at sea.'
Photo above left: Poole lifeboat crew and station personnel after receiving their medals
Photo above right: Lewis and Elli Singleton receiving The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal from Mrs Pitt-Rivers on behalf of Paul Singleton
Photos above: Mrs Pitt-Rivers cutting the very scrummy celebration cake
The longest serving volunteer awarded a medal was Paul Singleton with 31 years of service, which was presented to his son Lewis and daughter Elli.
It is believed to be the largest number of 'crown' medals ever to be presented at a lifeboat station at the same time.
Photos: RNLI (Dave Riley, John Earnshaw)
The RNLI Events Team is on the lookout for anyone who might like to take part in a new running event along the south coast in October, ranging from a 1.5K right up to a full marathon, to help raise vital funds for the RNLI.
In the first year of the Bournemouth Marathon, your route will take you into Poole, home to one of our busiest lifeboat crews, as well as along the 7 miles of golden sandy beaches in Bournemouth and past the many lifeguard huts that line the sands. No matter where you're based, this is a unique opportunity to take part in the first marathon event that Bournemouth has ever seen – why not make the trip down and join hundreds of fundraisers on the sunny south coast?
Junior runners can take part in a 1.5K or 3K event, while adults have the option of a Speed of Light 5K, Supersonic 10K or Half Marathon, and there are 5K wheelchair and handbike races too. For those hardcore runners among you, Bournemouth's first full marathon takes place on Sunday 6 October – so plenty of time to get training!
All runners can choose between a dedicated charity slot or paying a bit more for your own space. Either way, the Events team will support you with fundraising advice, marathon training tips and an RNLI branded training vest – not to mention masses of team spirit!
For more information or to sign up, contact Chloe Parmiter in the Events Team on 01202 663305 or click here to register.
Now's the time to take up the challenge!
Photo: Darren Johnson
The first RNLI Gallantry Medals to be awarded to the Flood Rescue Team are to be awarded for a daring rescue of a woman in swollen Devon river.
Three members of the RNLI's Flood Rescue Team have been recognised for their part in the rescue of a woman clinging to a branch in fast-flowing flood waters in Umberleigh, Devon on 23 December 2012.
Boat Team Leader Paul Eastment, 46, is to be awarded the RNLI Bronze Medal for Gallantry - one of the Institution's highest accolades - for his courage, leadership and determination in extremely challenging conditions. Helmsman Chris Missen, 25, and Crew Member Martin Blaker-Rowe, 33, will both also be awarded the Bronze Medal for Gallantry for their part in the rescue.
RNLI Shore Crew Member Bernie Mannings, 50, and Driver Jason Dunlop, 40, will also be recognised with the Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum. RNLI Incident Commander Robin Goodlad will be awarded the Framed Letter of Thanks from the Chairman of the Institution. They supported the boat team throughout the incident, driving through flooded roads to the launch site and, once safely there, contributing to the difficult decisions the team had to make.
Congratulations from all at Poole Lifeboat Station.
Photo: RNLI/Robin Goodlad
Poole Lifeboat Station was, once again, the busiest RNLI lifeboat station in the South West with 109 launches, down on previous years mainly due to the poor Summer of wet weather.
Poole lifeboats launched 109 times (30 ALB 79 ILB), assisted 146 people, spent 1,298 hours at sea and carried out 41 services in the dark.
The volunteers at Plymouth RNLI in Devon were second busiest with 95 call outs and at Torbay lifeboat station they launched to 86 emergencies. Collectively the three lifeboat station teams rescued 388 people. The busiest lifeboat station in the Channel Islands was St Helier where the volunteers launched 62 times.
RNLI lifeboats across the South West launched 81 fewer times than in 2011 during the second wettest year on record. In total, the volunteer lifeboat crews of the South West launched 1,507 times and spent a collective 16,822 hours at sea on emergency call outs, with Weymouth RNLI volunteers spending the longest time at sea – 2,981 hours – probably due to the increased need for search and rescue cover to ensure the safety of visitors in the area during the Olympics. The crews rescued 1,609 people, 38 more than in the previous year.
Check out both the lifeboat and lifeguard statistics in the South West and national statistics.
Photo: RNLI Poole/Rob Inett
For those of you who are good at spotting the differences in Tyne class lifeboats, you may have noticed that our trusty 47-023 City of Sheffield has currently been replaced by 47-030 David Robinson, which is now alongside at our berth next to Poole lifting bridge.
Following a previous survey by the RNLI's hull and machinery surveyors, it was decided that the City of Sheffield would go for a condition-based refit.
On a gorgeous morning on Friday 11 January, four Poole lifeboat crew members left the harbour just as the sun was rising above the horizon – it was soooo gorgeous but no photos as we'd all left our cameras at home! – and headed for Richardsons Yacht Services at Island Harbour Marine at Newport, Isle of Wight.
Poole's Tyne is expected to be there for about 6–8 weeks while various servicing and repairs are carried out.
Following the passage, the crew then enjoyed a mega (no kidding) cooked breakfast at The Octopus Garden Cafe in Cowes – we can highly recommend it and can't wait to go and pick the lifeboat up to repeat the culinary experience!
And, after a lifeboat, ferry, bus and train experience, the crew returned back to Poole later that afternoon.
The relief Tyne class David Robinson previously served at The Lizard from 1988–2011.
Photo: Royal Bank of Scotland/Rick Tomlinson
2012 was a busy year for Poole Lifeboat Station. Unofficial statistics reveal that the inshore and all-weather lifeboats launched 109 times (79 ILB and 30 ALB), down on previous years, which is more than likely due to the weather and it being the second wettest year on record.
Our highlights (and one lowlight) of 2012 include: Poole Lifeboat Station started 2012 as the busiest lifeboat station in Dorset in 2011, with 140 launches. We received the disappointing news that the Tyne class all-weather lifeboat would be removed from the station in about 3 years' time with plans to introduce a D class inshore lifeboat instead.
The good news included our crews helping to celebrate both the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics, taking part in the Diamond Jubilee Pageant, carrying the Olympic Torch and being Olympic games makers.
Our crews were the stars of stage, screen and locally – filming with the CBBC's Hero Squad and being asked the all-important question, Deal or no deal? The lifeboats headed the flotilla as part of the Twin Sails Bridge celebrations and won the Flotilla of Lights for the second year running.
They also starred in varying roles away from the lifeboat station: a crew member won the Seas category of the RNLI's Photographer of the Year competition and was also the 2012 British National Emergency Services Triathlon Champion. Poole crew members headed to Bangladesh to help deliver training and deployed to Bridgwater, Somerset, as part of the Flood Rescue Team.
Poole lifeboat crew were the first in the South Division to receive new lifejackets and the crew received recognition for their teamwork and efforts to save a man, receiving a Letter of Appreciation from the RNLI's Operations Director.
Thank you all for your support and we hope that 2013 will bring us some more memorable and momentous times.
Poole Lifeboat Station's new trainees entered this year's New Year's Day Bath Race challenge and braved the icy waters of Poole Quay in front of hundreds of cheering onlookers.
They went up against the Pirates of Poole and about 20 other teams as they all took to the water in a variety of craft for the annual Bath Race.
Armed with flour bombs and eggs, the teams employed a variety of dirty tricks to try and stay afloat and paddle their way to the finishing line, but as is tradition, several of the makeshift vessels failed to even get to the start line, including Poole Lifeboat Station's team of newcomers.
The bath tubs started from the Customs House steps and made their way to the Nelson and Jolly Sailor steps.
The ALB and ILB were both there, providing help to rescue anyone if needed, and you can check out photos of the event taken by the ALB crew in our photo gallery!
Hope you enjoy looking at the photos (as you can see, a great time was had by all!), and Happy New Year!