Sunday, 25 December 2011

And a happy New Year...

This morning, a dozen or so brave swimmers entered the water for a bracing Christmas Day dip. Generously they each gave a kindly sum to the RNLI. So thank-you all...!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Launch both boats...

After a shout yesterday, it's now looking like a busy bankholiday weekend...not for me though. Both boats have just launched to assist a small yacht caught by a pot rope round it's prop. Meanwhile I am spending the day alone with my kids as Mrs G is taking part in a 12 hour mountainbike no lifeboating for me!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Sometimes life ain't fair

So, over the last 10 days, our crew have spent many tens of hours busy fundraising and doing demonstrations to support the work that they do as volunteers for the RNLI. Imagine then, how gutting it was for Gav to be on his way home from the shout and the lifeboat service on Sunday only to have his bike stolen as he popped into a local shop to grab a pint of milk. Sometimes peoples selfishness and greed defies belief. A hard working volunteer out of pocket to the tune of £1600 just because someone else spotted an opportunity to profit.

So, if you have any information about this please get in touch with me or your local police. It is a relatively rare bike so it would actually be fairly hard to sell on. Please don't let this person get away with this. Thanks...

The youth of today

One of the great things about this years lifeboat week was the number of kids who were around. Everywhere I looked there seemed to be little people  enjoying themselves, taking an interest and having fun. The number present was of course helped by the number of recent babies born to our Swanage lifeboat family. Happy times...

Monday, 22 August 2011

Blooming marvelous

I forgot to mention the results of the annual RNLI window dressing competition. After a number of attempts, our wonderful local florists, Bloom, has won the RNLI window competition. Tor, who owns the business, is a great supporter of the lifeboat and has obviously put a huge amount of effort into her display this year. It even had a boat and a sea safety message...well done Bloom and Tor (and anyone else who was involved)!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

For those in peril...

So, in it's traditional way, lifeboat week has come to an end with our lifeboat service on the pier. Typically, the ALB got a shout 20 minutes before the start and missed the whole thing! Never mind though, this was more than made up for by the enormous number of people who had come to take part (helped perhaps by announcements on radio solent and radio 2 this morning).

Our thanks in particular to Ringwood Salvation Army band who played so well for us (they even taught us a new Hymn!)

Only 357 days to go till next lifeboat week!

Coastguard 106

Wahay! One of the great things about lifeboat weekend is getting the chance to work with our local coastguard helicopter. Noisy but loads of fun...

Saturday, 20 August 2011


So Tim, who used to be on our crew and now works for the RNLI, has a Honda goldwing, and take a look at the amazing artwork! I love the detail and the fact that it is our boat...nice one Tim.

Red is the new blue...

Handsome Dan in his new red it?

On yer marks, get set, go!

And they're off, the annual raft race is underway. No one has sunk...yet!

Did you know?

Williamson tea donate 7p from every box of tea to the RNLI. That means, if everyone in the UK chose to drink only lifeboat tea, a quarter of a million pounds would be raised daily! So do your bit please...

A whale of a time....

Once again we have the wonderful wareham whalers here to entertain us. If shanties are your thing then get down here and have a listen, they're awesome!

Friday, 19 August 2011

The wiseleys

what an awesome night!

1,2,3, I got soul...

The bands are on stage...let the fun begin!

Health and safety?

Your thoughts please!

Stormy is here...

Lifeboat week wouldn't be lifeboat week without Stormy Stan appearing. Luckily he is here helping us collect.

Get set...

After all the planning, the final preparations are fully underway for this weekend. Marquees are going up, the beer is onsite and there sun is shining...please don't forget to turn up now!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

A special visitor

It's not every evening that we get the pleasure of the company of a hugely talented and renowned artist coming to sea with us, but, tonight, we had the real pleasure of Rebecca Lardner onboard as we acted as guard boat for the Swanage Sailing Club RNLI pennant race. Rebecca's paintings have, of course, been hugely popular for a long time and the Mulberry tree gallery in town sells much of her work. However, relatively recently she has become a favourite of the lifeboat crew due to her offering to paint a picture for us to raffle during lifeboat week.

Of course the painting is fantastic and we were keen to bring Rebecca down to the lifeboat house and, if possible, get her out on the is the way with these things, it has taken some time to arrange but from the look on Rebecca's face it was well worth the wait!

Indeed, she was a natural, she seemed very comfortable on the boat and even managed to perfect the steely 'woman against the elements' looks required of female lifeboat crew!

Rebecca: thanks for coming out with us and in particular, thanks for your magnificent painting...

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Are you coming?

On Friday evening Prince Albert Gardens in Swanage is going to be the place to be. Cliff Lift & the ZigZags begin the entertainment with a lively set from 6pm. We've not had Cliff Lift & the ZigZags to play for us before, but they are a local band form the Bournemouth area and have an excellent reputation as a live band.

As ever there will be a fabulous bar with local beers and ciders and the BBQ will be fired up and providing delicious food once more.

The Wiseleys will be playing once more from 8.30pm, back for their third stint at lifeboat week. This incredible London based band will set out to once more blow your socks off with their energetic sound.

Do yourself a favour...don't miss this evening!

Monday, 15 August 2011

No rest for the wicked!

Just as we stepped out of our oilskins from the previous shout, our pagers went off once more. This time for a motor cruiser south of Anvil point. Despite having two engines, both had failed leaving him powerless and drifting as darkness was falling. No doubt he needed a tow.

Once again, in a pretty short time, we were on scene and had a couple of crew aboard and a tow rope rigged.  Indeed, a few short minutes after getting onboard, Dave and Ollie were tucking into a slice of cheese cake each! By the end of the shout, not only were the rest of our crew jealous, but also Poole lifeboat crew and the team at Portland coastguard!

Dragonfly from Amsterdam

With almost perfect timing my pager went off this afternoon just as I pulled onto the drive having returned from a very pleasant bike ride with the kids. In less than 10 minutes I was on the ALB as it slipped into the sea.

Portland coastguard then instructed us to make best speed towards a Dutch trimaran which had lost its rudder 3 miles South South East of Peveril point.

On arrival Gav and myself jumped onboard and rigged a tow and casualty Drogue. Less than 30 minutes later we had the yacht tied to our moorings in Swanage. Job done...there was nothing he could do too sort it out himself so we were very happy to assist. Let's hope that he gets this fixed quickly so that he can continue with his holiday and sail his wonderful Dragonfly trimaran back to Amsterdam!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

It all starts here

It's official, lifeboat week has started! The guild had set up its bookstall on the seafront and Robin is also there selling raffle tickets for the Rebecca Lardner painting. Head on down if you are in town...

Must tri harder...

So today is the annual Swanage triathlon. A few of the crew are taking part, including Becky and Steve. By the time you read this they will have finished and will be tucking into a well earned breakfast! Go guys...

Off course, as always, the ILB is on the water as part of the safety cover for the event. This morning Gav, Matt and Tom were there bright and early and making sure that everyone was safe...much appreciated by all concerned I'm sure! Well done Fellas.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


A mixed exercise tonight, combining an engine run, boat handling practise and then some planning for various demonstrations during lifeboat week. All good fun!

Another unusual shout...

Once more an unusual shout today.  Not that rescuing drifting inflatables is unusual, it's just Dave T doesn't do many shouts as ILB helm!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

One more day

So I've been away on holiday for a week or so and, with the wonders of facebook, twitter and e-mail knew that I was missing lots of action. This is normal when I am on holiday and generally it is followed by a quiet patch when I return!

Not this sooner had I unpacked my bag and put in the first load of washing than my pager went off. I hitched a lift to the boathouse with Des Fitzgerald (a retired crewmember and a real gent) and soon found us heading further west than we've been for many a year (Gav had to check the chart to discover where Mupe Rocks are!)

Once there we put Matt, our resident marine engineer, onboard who then diagnosed the problem as a fuel issue and in pretty short time fixed it sufficiently for the vessel to proceed on its way to Weymouth.

A few short hours later the pagers went off again for another slightly unusual shout. Dave T mentioned that this was probably the only time that we have launched the ALB and turned immediately to port! It was also probably the shortest ever eta for the ALB...we were on scene within 15 seconds!

It turned out that a passing large cabin cruiser had towed in a small broken down speedboat and had subsequently run ashore on a small reef called the berry. Poor compensation for an act of helpfulness if you ask me!

Anyway, the ILB and various crewmembers in drysuits soon had the boat off it's rocky perch and on their way to Poole. No doubt expensive damage has been done but at least they were afloat and under their own power.

Friday, 13 May 2011

The painting has arrived...

and it looks awesome. Rebecca has done us proud and produced a really stunning painting in her fabulous and distinctive style...thanks Rebecca!

And of course, if you are liking what you are seeing, get along to the Mulberry Tree Gallery website (or their actual shop!) and buy some raffle tickets. Alternatively you can also pick them up from the Boathouse or the RNLI shop in town.

Unfortunately Blogger is not allowing me to upload photos as present (not sure why) so I will try again later to stick a photo up...

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Win a fabulous original Rebecca Lardner Painting

One fantastic new fundraising initiative this year has been organised by the Mulberry Tree Gallery in Swanage. They have very kindly agreed to organise this on our behalf and the money raised will be donated to the RNLI. We anticipate that it could raise many thousands of pounds. However, this will only happen if tickets sell well and for this we need your help. With this in mind, once you have read this (and bought your tickets), please consider sending the link to as many friends as you feel able and encourage them to buy tickets.

This is what the lovely people at the gallery have to say about it:

We are holding a raffle for a
Rebecca Lardner original worth upwards of £2,500. Rebecca is currently
working on the picture and it will have elements of Swanage in it as well
as the 2 lifeboats that are stationed at Swanage.

Rebecca won Artist of the Year in 2010 and is a nationally acclaimed
artist (living in Dorset) and we're really pleased that she has agreed to
udnertake this commission for us in the hope of raising upwards of £5,000
for the RNLI.

Click here and buy your tickets now!!

Friday, 18 March 2011

Please can I have your support?

On April 3rd I shall be running the Giant's Daughter with good friends Tim, Steve and Charlotte.  Two pupils at my school, Will and Ollie, lost their father in 2003 when the helicopter in which he was travelling crashed in Iraq.  This year my Tutor group have been raising money for Help for Heroes in his memory – we thought that we'd try to add a little to their effort.
The Giant's Daughter is a 30 mile off-road challenge, set in the hills around the famous Cerne Abbas Giant.  It's not a race, but we have set ourselves the target of completing the route in 5 ½ hours.  Training is going well so far, this weekend I look set to pass the 300 mile mark for this year, and while we're pretty confident of finishing, the target time is still a pretty significant challenge and will depend very much on the terrain and conditions we find.
If you feel this is worthy of a contribution, we've set up a Virgin Money Giving page and anything donated will be very gratefully received.

Many thanks...