There was great excitement today for the volunteers at Poole Lifeboat station as the new floating boat house arrived by water!
The new build was lifted into the channel, between the bridges from the Old Power station site where during the past six months or so it has been under construction built by the Weymouth based Sawtell Construction Ltd.
As people have commuted over the Twin sails bridge or passed by on a vessel along the channel they will have seen the building in two halves emerge over the winter during the assembly.
On Tuesday (March 6th) the boat house was craned into the water for a float test, and then floated down between the quays, guided expertly by Jenkins Marine, through the 1.30 bridge and alongside outside the lifeboat station ready for the next phase, of putting it into position , which will be some time on Wednesday (March 7). It is envisaged that work will continue on the building for another few weeks before the lifeboats are moved in to their new home.
The building designed by ECA Architecture and Planning will nestle alongside the Old lifting bridge, ECA architects were keen not to make the boathouse like the standard industrial sheds, the angled roof is designed to provide views into the building by lifting the corners, so when people walk over the bridge they will be enticed to catch a glimpse of the interior. The design is sensitive to the location, in the conservation area next to the Old lifting bridge, it will be a part of a busy quay scene, built as two bays, the crews are looking forward to being able to launch and recover safely and efficiently.
The boats will be kept just out of the water on a cradle, ready to launch 24/7, the boathouse will offer protection from the elements, giving our lifeboats a bit of TLC, protecting the equipment and hopefully cutting down on maintenance like ‘bottom scrubs’ and it will help to extend the boats lifesaving capability.
When bringing casualties back to the station, the crew will be able to do so discreetly, the transfers will be sheltered and more comfortable for the casualties
It will also be a safer work environment for our mechanics, for them to carry out the essential routine weekly, fortnightly, monthly and 6 monthly maintenance checks; there will be more room to securely store equipment and spares, which will be easier to access.
In time there will be an opportunity to welcome visitors to the station and to view the lifeboat house, to give an insight and share the lifesaving work that we do.
Poole lifeboat volunteer helmsman Jonathan Clark said;
‘Both operational lifeboats have been on a floating pontoon alongside the quay for the past 18 months and at times this has been a challenge. To see them in their new abode will be a new chapter in the stations history, and the new lifeboat house will vastly improve the efficiency of our search and rescue service here at Poole lifeboat station.’
Drone pics thanks to On The Wing UAV Ltd
Other pics: Dave Riley, Seb Pinkard, Dave Bursey