Weston-super-Mare Volunteer RNLI crew show a local reporter how they cope in difficult circumstances

Sarah on the slipway

Sarah in the helmsmans seat copy

photographs show Sarah in her Lifeboat Kit and also at the helm of the lifeboat

It has been widely publicised that Weston-super-Mare needs a new lifeboat station but are the crews coping while they wait?

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The Weston-super-Mare RNLI lifeboat station was built in 1902 on Birnbeck Island at the north of Weston Bay. There had been an RNLI station there since 1882 and the new one was state of the art for the time. Over the years the volunteers and their lifeboats gave sterling service saving lives in the dangerous waters of the Bristol Channel. Indeed of later years they are the busiest lifeboat station on the English side of the Bristol Channel.

 

However Birnbeck Island is connected to the mainland by a pier which is now in a very poor condition and likely to fall down at any time. This has been a problem for some time but the RNLI did hope the owners of the Pier would repair it so the crews could still get out to their lifeboats. This has not happened and there is no serious likelihood of it happening in the future.

 

The Weston crews have always promised that, come what may, they will continue to provide the service expected of them and save lives when required. Due to the publicity about the need for a new lifeboat station it was decided to invite a reporter from the local paper to visit the station and see how the crews cope.

Sarah Robinson from the Weston Mercury came out to the station on Sunday to see how it works. As well as touring the facilities she had the opportunity to dress in the Personal Protective Equipment used by the crews. She was then given the rare opportunity to go afloat on the Atlantic 75 lifeboat Coventry and Warwickshire.

 

Afterwards Sarah said how impressed she was that despite the conditions on the lifeboat station the volunteer crews remained cheerful and were obviously carrying out their role in saving lives. She said; ‘I am now even more determined to help the Weston-super-Mare RNLI team raise the money they need for a new station. It has been a challenging but enjoyable experience to be with such brave people and I hope readers will give generously for this worthwhile cause.’

 

Nigel Jones, RNLI Divisional Operations Manager says he has great admiration for the volunteer team at Weston super Mare;

 

‘The crew are clearly having to operate in demanding conditions but to their credit they do this with the same commitment and selflessness that we would expect from all our lifeboat teams. They provide a superb lifesaving service in the area, 24 hours a day, seven days a week without complaint and I applaud them for this and thank them for their continuing dedication to our charity.’

 

‘I want to assure everyone that the RNLI is working very hard to find a solution for the team at Weston super-Mare and it’s to their credit that the crew are maintaining a full rescue service during this frustrating period while the charity strive to find alternative facilities.’

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