Thursday, 15 January 2009

Top Secret

Last night was exercise night. Both boats were at sea and busy. Unusually the ALB had a full complement of experienced hands and so rather that being a 'learning' exercise it was more of a 'doing' exercise. This of course is very beneficial as it forces us to rely on each other and ultimately gives us all confidence in our joint ability. Amidst various technical problems with electronic kit we conducted a 'blind-pilotage' exercise through the East-Looe and Swash channel approaches to Poole harbour and acquitted ourselves very well.

On completion it was back to the boathouse for a wash down and tidy up. I spent a moment looking through our archive of old photos and papers to try and find more information about old lifeboats. Tucked into a file I found this gem. Apparently this came form the estate of Bobby Brown and details what the crew of the lifeboat were to do in the event of a German invasion during the war! It is headed Secret but I hope it is now OK to talk about this and that the danger has passed?

It says:

In the event of invasion Life boats will be ordered to be immobilised by the Naval Officer-in-Charge Poole. The following procedure will be carried out in Poole and Swanage respectively. The Naval Officer-in-Charge or other responsible Officer, will personally order the Life Boat to be immobilised by visiting the Life Boat House in conjunction with his duties (paragraph 5(c) Action and immobilisation, Poole). The Lifeboat's crew will immobilise the craft by removing vital parts of the engines and concealing or destroying the masts and sails. The crew will retire to a safe place.

How exciting! I wonder what the crew then might have considered to be a safe place to retire too?


Anonymous said...

Yes, that would have scuppered the Wehrmacht nicely.

Mark R

lifeboatjohn said...

Quite...hit them where it hurts!

bonnie said...


Can't remember if I've ever de-lurked before but there was a really amazing rescue today in NYC - you might have heard about it already but if not, I bet you will enjoy it. Stellar job done by a whole lot of people!


lifeboatjohn said...

Quite right's not often I'm moved to blog about things so far beyond our patch but this deserves one! I'm guessing you weren't out kayaking at the time?

Glad you've come out by the way!