In March, Second Coxswain Paul Singleton was awarded his 30-year Long Service Badge, awarded in recognition of the dedication and commitment and continuous service on the lifeboat. Paul’s 30 years have seen him carry out a staggering 1,162 services, saving 108 people. Paul retired from the inshore lifeboat in 2011 but continues as part of the all-weather lifeboat crew.
The RNLI announced on 5 April that its Trustees have accepted the recommendations of its Operations Committee to remove the Tyne class all-weather lifeboat and instead introduce a D class inshore lifeboat at Poole Lifeboat Station. Poole’s 18-knot Tyne class lifeboat City of Sheffield will be withdrawn in 2015 when a new 25-knot Shannon class all-weather lifeboat is introduced at its flank station Swanage.
In June, volunteer RNLI crews at Poole Lifeboat Station became the first in the South Division to receive new state-of-the-art lifejackets for both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats as part of their all-important personal protective equipment (PPE).
In July, the station crew and the families of two Poole Lifeboat Station volunteers were very proud as Coxswain Jonathan Clark and Crew Member Emma Knight carried the Olympic torch as part of the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay – Jonathan carrying it through Winterborne Whitechurch on Thursday 12 July and Emma in Swanage on Friday 13 July.
In August, Poole lifeboat crew received a Letter of Appreciation from the RNLI’s Operations Director Michael Vlasto for their actions on the evening of 17 May 2012. Both lifeboats launched to reports of a person in the water in the Wareham Channel and the ILB arrived on scene first and immediately recovered a man into the lifeboat before commencing CPR. Despite everyone’s best efforts, the crew were unable to save the man. Michael said: ‘Everyone acted in the finest traditions of the RNLI and gave their very best.’
In February, 20 volunteer crew members and station personnel of Poole RNLI Lifeboat Station were presented with Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medals by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset Mrs Anthony Pitt-Rivers on behalf of HM The Queen.
June saw the launch of Poole Lifeboat Station’s @PooleLifeboats Twitter account.
In October, it was with great sadness that we shared the news that Paul Singleton passed away. Affectionately known as Flipper, Paul had been a huge part of Poole lifeboat crew since 1982. In over 30 years he served as Crew, Senior Helmsman and Second Coxswain on three inshore and three all-weather lifeboats and carried out over 1,600 shouts and saved 108 people.
On 12 December 2013, the Tyne class lifeboat City of Sheffield celebrated 25 years of saving lives at sea. She has launched 776 times, rescuing over 870 people and saving over 100 lives. Included in these, in her 13 years while at Poole, she has launched 487 times, rescuing over 540 people. The people of Poole, Whitby, Ramsgate, Hartlepool and Sennen Cove are all grateful for her service over the last 25 years.
In February, former Poole Crew Member Paul Savage was awarded an OBE by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace for services to Maritime and Coastal Safety. Paul’s OBE is in recognition of his work in creating revolutionary casualty care training for RNLI volunteer crew members and lifeguards across the UK and Republic of Ireland.
In June, former Helm Holly Phillips was awarded an MBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Holly joined Poole Lifeboat Station in 1994 and was the first female crew member at the station and the 100th female crew member in the UK and Republic of Ireland. As a helmsman and trainer on the inshore lifeboat and a crew member and navigator on the all-weather lifeboat, Holly clocked up 270 services, 102 exercises and saved 42 lives.
Holly was awarded the distinguished award for her role in the RNLI as Principal Naval Architect, project managing the design and build of the Mark 2 version of the E class lifeboat, which is on service on the Thames.
On 15 June, Poole Lifeboat Station reached a milestone in its history as it carried out its 5,000th lifeboat shout. Poole is the first RNLI all-weather lifeboat station to achieve this landmark moment.
Poole Lifeboat Station celebrated its 150th anniversary on 19 January 2015. During its 150-year history the charity’s lifeboats in Poole have launched over 5,000 times, saved over 800 lives and rescued over 4,000 people.
The end of an era was marked on Saturday 12 November 2016 as Poole Lifeboat Station said its fond farewells to the all-weather Tyne class lifeboat City of Sheffield as she departed Poole Harbour for the last time. A poignant blessing and moving ceremony, watched by well-wishers, saw the lifeboat and her crew sail away, accompanied by the station’s two inshore lifeboats, a flotilla of vessels and Coastguard helicopter.
It was fitting send-off as her iconic engines rumbled for the last time as the lifeboat station entered a new era – an era without an all-weather lifeboat – as an inshore lifeboat station.
March 6th saw the new boat house 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.
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 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 maintenance checks.
On June 23rd the naming service of the D class D-804 Gladys Maud Burton and the handing over of the new floating Boathouse took place.
Mr Tim Sharpley represented the late Gladys Maud Burton, who lived in Lilliput, Poole and died in February 2010 aged 100. He shared that her husband had fought in the 2nd World War and talked about the experiences of the huge Atlantic swells, Gladys lived by the sea all her life and admired the RNLI and by all accounts she was a ‘formidable’ lady, and altruistic, as her generous bequest to Poole Lifeboat Station left a legacy that was used to fund the D class that bears her name ‘Gladys Maud Burton’ and along with other legacies and donations to fund the new floating boathouse.
Mr Sharpley was invited to open the floating boathouse and hand the lifeboat to the care of the RNLI. Glen Mallen Lifesaving Manager accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI then handed it into the care of Poole Lifeboat Station, Paul Glatzel, Lifeboat Operations Manager accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the station.
Poole Lifeboat chaplain, Reverend Lucy Holt led the assembled crowd in a service of dedication and then Tim Sharpley was invited to name the lifeboat, in the age old tradition of pouring champagne on the bow.