Portishead Lifeboat Trust, which was set up 20 years ago to provide a lifeboat service on the Severn Estuary, was formally adopted by the RNLI today
Portishead Lifeboat Trust has been formally apopted by the RNLI. Following work to update the shored-based lifeboat station and launching equipment, it can now operate an RNLI B class inshore lifeboat. This capability means that the RNLI is now able to incorporate the Portishead Lifeboat Trust into its network of lifeboat stations around the country, having agreed to the move in principle in 2011.
At midday on Friday 24 April, the RNLI flag was raised at the Portishead Lifeboat station, signalling the moment the adoption takes effect.
A new lifeboat station has been built by contractors Andrew Scott over the past year next to Portsihead Marina. The lifeboat will now be able to launch in all weathers and at all states of the tide.
Over the last 12 months, Portishead Lifeboat crews have undertaken thorough RNLI training in casualty care, searcha nd rescue command, helm development and boat handling. They have also had to learn how to operate the new launch and recovery system. They met all the criteria to satisfy the RNLI, removing the final hurdle to being adopted by the RNLI.
‘This has been a huge project and undertaking for everyone involved, from those in both organisations working extremely hard behind the scenes to ensure the adoption runs smoothly, to the motivated and professional volunteer crew who have continued their lifesaving work throughout the upheaval,’ said RNLI Divisional Operations Manager Nigel Jones.
Funds of £232,000 has been raised from the local community, which has gone towards the cost for the new buildings. There will be a fomal opening ceremony for the facility on Saturday 20 June 2015.
The Portishead Lifeaboat Trust was set up 20 years ago by a group of volunteers who wanted to provide a sea rescue service along an exposed area of coast that lacked other rescue facilities. In that time, the lifeboat has been launched on 381 operational ‘shouts’, saving 14 lives and assisting 483 others.
Bob Crane, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager for Portishead said, ‘This is an extremely momentous day for everyone at Portishead. The last few months and weeks have been extremely busy for all the volunteers involved as the final stage of training and legal preparations leading up to adoption. It is fantastic to be able to celebrate in such a wonderful new lifeboat station.’