Thursday, 26 July 2007

Can I have one of those, please?

I don't know what the hell this "logistics" is that Marshall is always talking about, but I want some of it. - Admiral E. J. King

Can you imagine the logistics involved in maintaining a nationwide fleet of Lifeboats and Boathouses? Can you imagine the number of 'parts' that go to make up a Mersey Class lifeboat even? There's this place in Poole, reverently known as 'stores', that keeps all these bits & pieces, and gets them out very quickly to any station that needs them.

But how do you know what to order? Look closely at the picture above and you can see an 'RNLI Ident' number on this sticker, found on our wheelhouse hatch. Everything, and I mean *everything*, has an ident number. From a single stainless washer to a Tamar engine and gearbox - they all have their own ident. Rumour has it that Dave Turnbull knows them all, as well.

Every warehouse has it's own humourous stories, and the RNLI Stores is no exception. I heard a story once about a mechanic who mistakenly ordered an entire new engine for his Severn Class, and it turned up on a low-loader a couple of days later. But my favourite - the guy who needed 3m of 6mm bungee. And received "2m, with 1m to follow".

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