On the Saturday Paul and Jean Guy and David and Kim Hedges visited the RNLI open weekend at Poole and enjoyed the conducted tour of the RNLI’s facilities including 20 minutes in their lifeboat simulator, which was good fun and left several people in our group with wobbly legs as they left. We were able to spend a lot of time viewing the new in-house construction facilities for the new ‘Shannon Class’ lifeboat. At present the hull and superstructure mouldings are made in Lymington and transported by road to Poole for final fitting out. They currently have two boats being fitted out with two more waiting their turn. Shortly all the hull and superstructures will be made in the new facilities at Poole giving them full control over the build quality. There were also several demonstrations taking place on the water and the visit would not be complete without a visit to the survival training building where the crew, including the newly qualified Eastbourne lifeboat coxswain, Paul Rogers demonstrated the recovery from a capsize situation.
During the weekend several other craft were seen visiting Poole, including two Royal Navy fast patrol training boats, the sail training ship Tenacious and the steamship SS Shieldhall which had been booked to take passengers out to view the Bournemouth airshow from the bay. We also included a trip to Brownsea Island where we saw several red squirrels, followed by a leisurely 1 hour tour around Poole harbour.
Royal Navy fast patrol training boat P280
Sail training ship ‘Tenacious’
SS Shieldhall taking spectators to view the Bournemouth Airshow
Tamar Class Bembridge Lifeboat undergoing repairs
New ‘Shannon Class’ hull and superstructure as delivered from Lymington
The bare hull prior to being fitted out
The superstructure before being fitted out
Fitting out under way. Note the superstructure has already been painted
Fitting out of the hull is well under way prior to the superstructure being attached
One of the two Scania diesel engines that power the Shannon Class lifeboat up to 45 knots
The fourth production Shannon Class being put through its paces at Poole
Capsize recovery drill in the sea survival training building