Two Celebrations For Poole Station

It’s going to be a ‘Super Saturday’ at Poole Lifeboat Station

What’s better than a celebration?

Two celebrations as Poole Lifeboat Station officially opens the new floating boathouse and the D class RNLB Gladys Maud Burton D-804 naming ceremony. Poole’s newest lifeboat will be officially named by Poole Lifeboat rector Reverend Lucy Holt in a Service of Dedication (Saturday June 23 at 11:30am).

Although the D class boat has been on station since early 2017, her naming ceremony is when she is officially handed to the RNLI, who in turn dedicate the D class to the safe care of the Poole Lifeboat station.

Two celebrations in one, is unusual but with the positioning and completion of the new floating boathouse delayed by the major reconstruction work that took place on the Old Poole lifting bridge, it seemed a good idea to combine both events.

Mrs Gladys Burton, lived in Lilliput, Poole and died in February 2010 aged 100. She left a generous bequest to Poole Lifeboat Station in her Will, which has been used to help fund the D class that bears her name ‘Gladys Maud Burton’, which the Poole Lifeboat crew are proud to man and serve, a local lady funding a boat that will save lives at sea in and around Poole.

The D class is well suited to the shallow reaches inside and outside the harbour, with a top speed of 25 knots, the D class lifeboat can endure 3 hours at sea at full speed, carrying 2 to 4 crew. The crew are exposed to all the elements at all times and need their protective kit to keep the safe and warm so returning to station and the new floating boathouse after particularly demanding conditions, will be really appreciated by the volunteers and shore crew.

The boathouse will enable the lifeboats to be ready to respond and somewhere sheltered out of the elements which will help to prolong their life saving capabilities. It will keep the D class and Atlantic 85 class lifeboats safe and secure and kept in pristine condition ready to respond when someone really needs them.

The new floating boathouse would not be possible without the generous kind donations from supporters.

Assembled by Weymouth based Sawtell Construction Ltd, the boathouse had taken shape at the old power station site from September 2017 onwards, then at the beginning of March it was gingerly put into the water in two sections, and floated into place by Jenkins Marine and bolted together into position by the old Poole lifting bridge.

Designed by ECA Architecture and Planning, the boathouse will be a welcoming safe haven to all seafarers heading back through the bridges.

Poole Lifeboat volunteer Anne-Marie Clark said;
‘The architects were keen not to make the boathouse resemble the standard industrial sheds and they angled the roof to provide views into the building, so when people walk over the bridge they will be able to catch a glimpse of the interior and see the boats or observe the crew at work then at night the boathouse is lit up, it really does enrich this bit of the quay, not intrusively, I personally think it blends in with the activity of the working quay, night and day. It really will enhance what we do, with this purpose built facility, we can operate quicker, safer and better’.

Built as two bays, the lifeboats are lifted clear of the water on hydraulic cradles. The boathouse has a workshop and space to safely work, store equipment and clean the boats, the two busy mechanics have routine maintenance plans and are looking forward to the opulent working environment as before when the lifeboats were out in the open, it has to be said it was a challenge to keep them ready for service.

The lifeboats went operational in the new floating boathouse on Saturday (June 16) after all the crew and gone through rigorous familiarisation and training of procedures and emergency procedures of launch and recovery of the lifeboats. This was all put into practice for real, as the Atlantic had its first Shout, the following morning (Sunday June 17),it all went smoothly and the volunteers were very pleased with the launch.

Around the station there has been vibrant new signage and boards which have been updated and installed with key safety messages and information.
There is an opportunity to welcome groups of visitors to tour the floating boathouse and station, with pre booked tours, please enquire via the Poole Lifeboat station website (Contact Us page) or pop down during the station Open Day which is on Sunday August 5th.

📸 Paul Glatzel / UAV On The Wing / Will Collins / Dave Riley