Portishead RNLI delighted with new lifeboat

PUBLISHED: 08:55 07 October 2015 | UPDATED: 08:55 07 October 2015

The Spirit Of Clovelly (left) will be replaced by My Lady Anne (right). Photo by Nicholas Leach.

The Spirit Of Clovelly (left) will be replaced by My Lady Anne (right). Photo by Nicholas Leach.

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Portishead RNLI has unveiled a new lifeboat this week.

The voluntary team has been eagerly awaiting delivery of the larger lifeboat since the new station became operational in April.

The new lifeboat, called My Lady Anne, arrived on September 14 and went out on service on September 24.

And the crew got to use the new boat within 48 hours. There were reports of two people in the water, but after searches by the coastguard and RNLI, it was realised that the members of the public had seen balloons in the water instead.

Although the first trip out was a false alarm, Portishead RNLI says the new lifeboat will be a really helpful addition to their efforts.

Paul Eastment, RNLI divisional operations manager, declared the lifeboat in a service, and said: “The station has come a long way in a very short space of time and that’s testament to the volunteers and their positive and proactive attitude during a time of considerable change.

“I have been very impressed with the way all the volunteers have committed so much time and effort to training this week, they have been so enthusiastic and I thank them for their dedication.”

My Lady Anne, an Atlantic 85 lifeboat, carries four crew members, is powered by two 115hp engines and has a stronger hull and greater top speed. It also has a full suite of communication and electronic navigation aids, and the added radar allows the crew to operate more effectively in poor visibility.

Bill Wraith provided a large donation to pay for the boat, and he wanted it named after his wife.

He said: “The lifeboat is a fitting tribute to both my late wife Anne and to the people who will crew her.

“I am proud to be associated with the RNLI and this lifeboat is a true demonstration that out of sadness, comes a wonderful lasting memory of Anne’s life.”

With My Lady Anne now in place, Portishead RNLI’s Atlantic 75 lifeboat, called Spirit of Clovelly, will return to Poole. The RNLI base in Poole lent the boat to Portishead since April.

Simon Perks, Portishead RNLI fundraising co-ordinator, said the team is always keen to hear from people who are willing to donate time to the cause.

He added: “It’s been a busy time for us as Portishead RNLI has evolved but we’re now in a position to build our fundraising team and are looking to the local community to get involved.

“It costs approximately £85,000 to run an inshore lifeboat station each year, £1,527 to train a crew member and an additional £1,678 to cover their kit.

“Our focus going forward is to maintain our fantastic new lifeboat facility, which will enable our crew to continue to save lives at sea.

“We’d love to hear from anyone interested in helping, whether they can offer just a few hours or would like to get involved in organising fundraising events.”

* Anyone keen to volunteer for any role within the Portishead RNLI setup, is asked to email portishead@rnli.org.uk or log on to 
www.portishead-lifeboat.org.uk


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