Thursday, 7 December 2006


Lifeboat deck from frd, originally uploaded by lifeboatjohn.

Each lifeboat station has it's own boat. Becomes attached, cherishes and feels comfortable with her. Never-the-less, due to the nature of the job and the high standards expected of the equipment, there are many occasions when a station will be using a boat other than it's own. These are known in RNLI language as 'Relief Boats'. They are strategically placed around the coast, ready to be shunted to the front line when needed.

Presently we have a relief boat. We didn't break the 'Robert Charles Brown'...........just wore her out. After many thousands of launches down the slipway the keel had become distorted, bent and worn. We noticed this during the summer when launching for our annual church service. We knocked out the pin to launch, she slid as ever down the slip and nearing the bottom ground to a rather undignified hault. Not what is needed when being whatched by so many. After a visit from the technical department; much stroking of chins and sucking of teeth, the dear old 'Robert Charles Brown' was deemed to be, quite simply worn out.

She is now in Cowes, IOW, having a new keel mated to her and at the same time having a full overhaul. This will take some length of time and in the meantime we operate a relief boat and notice the small but important differences in her character.


Anonymous said...

Actually we were launching for our Annual Church Service :o)

lifeboatjohn said...

How right you are Dave, I stand corrected!

Anonymous said...

Hello John,
How very interesting! I firt watched a lifeboat launching from a slipway in Ollie Sanders' Sea Kayal Rescue DVD. I felt that probably Bruce Willis was manning the helm.
Is Swanage Station's a Mersey class lifeboat?

lifeboatjohn said...

Probably not actualy Bruce Willis but possibly still someone who would know the difference between a 'Chopper'and a 'Motorbike'.....

Quite right though, it is a Mersey, primarily designed for launching from a Carriage (trailer) but sometimes from a slipway as in our case.