Tamar Class – archive photograph
Author: Phil Bestjan, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer
Portpatrick RNLI lifeboat station will receive a new technologically advanced Tamar all weather lifeboat to replace its current lifeboat, RNLB Mary Irene Millar, on Tuesday 8 November.
The new vessel, RNLB John Buchanan Barr, a Tamar class all weather lifeboat was built at the cost of £2.7 million, and is is the most technologically advanced lifeboat currently operated by the RNLI, utilising the most up to date marine materials and equipment available. It replaces the Tyne class all weather lifeboat, RNLB Mary Irene Millar, which has been stationed at Portpatrick since 1989.
The RNLI Tamar lifeboat is named after Dr John Buchanan Barr MBE, a distinguished GP who died in 2003 at the age of 93. During the war he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps as a captain and major, and saw action in North Africa with the 78th Division, for which he later received the MBE. After the war he returned to Glasgow to work as a GP.
Dr Buchanan Barr and his wife Catherine often visited the seaside village of Portpatrick. Catherine, who died in 2008 at the age of 98, requested that a legacy gift should be left to the RNLI to pay for a new lifeboat for Portpatrick named after her husband, and carrying the inscription ‘He saved so many lives during the war.’
Volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew have been involved in extensive training and sea trials of the new vessel over the past few months, and will deliver the new RNLI lifeboat to its base at Portpatrick harbour on the morning of Tuesday 8 November.