Monday, 25 February 2008

Barmouth Lifeboat

This is Barmouth Lifeboat station. It was re-built on this new site about 4 years ago due to problems with their afloat Mersey drying out at low water making it impossible to launch. It was decided that they would be better able to guarantee being able to launch 24/7 if they had a boat which was carriage launched rather than on a mooring. At the same time it was decided to provide a boathouse to store it in along with room for changing, training and administration. The result is this truly magnificent structure in the most prominent position possible on Barmouth seafront.

I remember watching it being built and marvelling at the foundations which were made largely from what looked like polystyrene; necessary due to it being built on sand dunes.

Inside they have exactly the same classes of lifeboats as us (Mersey and IB1) but also a truly impressive array of launching equipment. First up is this New Holland tractor for launching the ILB and keeping the slip clear of sand.

Then next door in the ALB shed is this magnificent creature.......a Talus tractor. This 'go-anywhere' machine can not only drag a huge lifeboat and carriage over soft sand, it can also drive it into the sea until it is entirely submerged. Awesome!

Needless to say I'm jealous. Those boys in Barmouth must have thought all their Christmases had come at once when all this new kit arrived?


Mart said...

I agree there are some awesome bits of it supplied by the RNLI and the way they overcome launch issues never ceases to amaze me, slipways, carriages, davits, trailer, even in some cases I believe back of a lorry!!

Interesting that you say you are jealous, I bet it is a slight case of 'grass is always greener' (or should that be sea is always bluer?) I bet the crew of Barmouth would look at you and say you're lucky having the drama and exilleration of a slipway launch.....

Anonymous said...

Hi John, we visited Barmouth couple years ago, seen the lifeboat station, (everytime we go on hols we aim to look at the station, visit shop etc)
By the way did the earthquake reach your part of the world? woke me up, and hubby thought a train had gone past, incredible sound, weird feeling, we had one 5 years ago that was nearer home that was much worse for us,
take care

Anonymous said...

Why when the new station was designed was it not located at the end of that great long concrete pathway that almost reaches the sea? It appears to be a labour intensive and time consuming exercise to launch from the new station across a main road, long beach and eventually into the sea even if you do have all the mechanical kit. Would you still locate the station where it is after using it for a few years now?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous obviously visited Barmouth at high tide. A Lifeboat Station at the end of the point would be launching into a pool and rocks. The bar, further seaward of that position is covered by only a foot of water on certain tides. The new building is on the best possible site although if a second promenade is ever built half a mile out to sea, it will find itself in the centre of the town.

Retired Barmouth Lifeboatman.

lifeboatjohn said...

Well, thanks for that...I think that answers that question well!

Ultimately there will always be a lot of factors governing the location of a new station...both operational and planning.

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