Take the Big Dip
Click on the above link for the best answer to clearing your head after Christmas Day.
The Call of Duty
We have to report an incident from a Lifeboat exercise last Thursday night. Fortunately Lifeboats were already afloat when reports came in of a female spotted walking around a desolate remote beach in a suspicious manner in the dark. A crewman (Jonathan Charnock) was put ashore to investigate more closely. Jon identified the young female as Jenny Deadman. She was unattached and there was clear danger that unless something was done fast she could get caught up somewhere else. Jonathan's training didn't let him down. He went down on one knee and with a ring in his hand he offered to take the lady in tow. Jenny, obviously surprised, broke out in laughter and tears. First Aid was offered but refused.Jonathan returned to the Lifeboat to report that the young lady was now safely secure and that he and Jenny are now engaged to be married. Congratulations from all of your friends here to both of you.Wishing you many happy voyages for the future.
A Booster from Bulphan
The picture shows our Chairman Jim Mackie receiving a cheque for £750.00 from the Master of the Lodge Norman Hiscock Norman and his family were made very welcome and Jim thanked them on behalf of the station for this very generous donation.
Offshore Station Open Weekend
23rdand 24th July 2016 from Noon to 4pm
Come and meet the crew and see up close both our offshore Lifeboats. We have a brand new Atlantic 85 to show you and it is brimming with new equipment. Next door is the offshore D-class, which is one of the busiest lifeboats in the country in it's own right!
During the afternoon (2pm and 4pm), there will be demonstrations afloat showing just how manoevreable the Lifeboats are.
Naming Ceremony for D-class "William Henderson" and B class "Julia & Angus Wright"
18th June 2016
There was much excitement at the station today as the bunting was put up, the PA system plugged in and the gazebo erected for the lecturn for the naming ceremony of both our new B class and D class Lifeboats.
Our Chairman, Jim Mackie opened proceedings and introduced the D class donor representative Mr Rolph and B class donor Mr Wright to the eager audience of VIP guests.RNLI Vice President, Malcolm Vincent accepted the boats on behalf of the RNLI and Lifeboat Operations Manager, John Foster accepted the generous donations on behalf of Southend Lifeboat station.
The donors then launched the Lifeboats in the traditional manner, with a bottle of champagne after a service of dedication from Rev Phyliss Owen.
The rain kept at bay even though threatening all day and the guests were treated to a Man Overboard Demonstration by the two crews manning the new Lifeboats.
There are so many people to thank for this event, from the donors to the choir, to the wonderful ladies who ran the catering. It all went like clockwork and that doesn't happen by chance! Thank you all. You know who you are.
Boathouse Open Days
Next One in July
Thank you to everyone who came along to our Inshore Boathouse Open Day. It was a pleasure to show so many of you around the station and equipment that your donations have provided.
Our next Open Day will be in July. Full details to follow soon. This will be to show case our brand new Atlantic 85 and to demonstrate our unique launching and recovery capability at the end of the World's longest pleasure pier.
Rochford One Hundred Lodge
This is going to be a shock for many on the station (and their partners!). Rochford One Hundred Lodge have kindly donated us a washing machine. This is going to be very useful as, being such a large station we have such a lot of laundry. All we need now are some volunteers to work out how to use it.
PRESENTATIONS AT THE CREW DINNER
Long service awards and crew ties for new crew.
£500 kindly received from Vopack
Dr Cliff Osbourne receiving his long service certificate from George Rawlinson
Cmdr/Helmsman Saxon Cronin-Garrod receiving his Long service award
DLA Nick Snelling receiving thanks from George for his services
Chris McHugh promoted to crew
Alex Gibson promoted to crew
Dave Cartwright promoted to crew
Greg Sears promoted to crew
Sean Pearse promoted to crew
Southend Lifeboat Busiest Coastal Station in 2015
142 launches to 120 people rescued.
Southend RNLI was today confirmed as the 3rd busiest Lifeboat station in the whole of the UK and the busiest 'coastal' station of UK waters.
Paul Barker, RNLI Community Incident Reduction Manager in the East, said: 'Once again our volunteer lifeboat crews have had a busy 12 months working hard to serve their local communities. They willingly down tools and drop everything to respond to an emergency call for help day or night, come rain or shine. 'Over the past year the RNLI has also been working hard to prevent people from getting into danger, whether that is through lifejacket clinics or our Respect the Water campaign. We understand that things can go wrong from time to time, so some preventative maintenance and annual checks prior to the boating season should allow for worry free sea time. 'I would like to thank all of our volunteers for their tireless hard work and dedication throughout the past 12 months. Without all of our supporters, fundraisers, crews and education teams our lifesaving service would not operate
A Big Day at the Station
Julia & Angus Wright arrives.
Southend Lifeboat today took delivery of a new Atlantic 85 lifeboat.
The replacement for the '75' comes with more power & more kit and will add to the stations capability - especially down river.
Lots more photos and information to come over the next few days as crews get familiar with the boat.
19:00hrs Friday 5th February at the Cliffs Pavilion
For an opportunity to dine with the Southend Lifeboat Crew, members of the Southend RNLI, representatives from flank stations, helicopter crew, coastguards and friends of the Lifeboat why not email email@example.com and book a ticket. Maybe you want to come along on your own, in which case we can allocate you a seat or maybe you'd prefer your own table, in either case it would be our pleasure to accomodate you.
On the night there will be guest speakers, an auction and entertainment. This year we have comedian Mickey Pugh.
So if you want to cheer up a miserable Winters night join us and support your local Lifeboat station in the process. All net proceeds are donated to the RNLI.
Fashion Show Fundraiser
£1,227.06 raised by fashion show sponsored by Occasion Boutique
Occasion Boutique of The Ridgeway Westcliff-on-Sea staged a Fashion Show in aid of the RNLI at Saxon Hall on the 20th October 2015 There were 110 ladies in attendance who enjoyed an excellent lunch during which the models paraded over 90 items of clothing The event raised £1,227.06 for the RNLI We would like to thank our Vice Presidents Mrs Pat Campfield, Mr Alan Butler and his wife Dawn who put a lot of work into helping with the organisation Also our Vice President Mr John Speller who held a retiring collection and his wife Margaret and Janet Mackie who sold raffle tickets Many thanks to Sue Franklin and her staff at Occasion Boutique and of course the models.
£1,100 raised by The Inner Wheel Club of Leigh on Sea
Following a talk given to the Inner Wheel Club of Leigh-on-Sea in 2014 the club chose the RNLI as their charity for the year At their dinner on the 20th October 2015 at the Old Vienna Jim Mackie was presented with a cheque for £1,100.00 by the past president Mrs Jean Peacock Jim thanked them for the support given by the Inner Wheel to the RNLI and for raising such a large sum of money
Battlesbridge Community Raft Race
This years annual raft race organised by the villagers of Battlesbridge raised £2180 for Southend Lifeboat and the same again for the Nepalese Disaster fund. Here is out Ruth & Dave receiving a cheque from Lee Freeman and Harvey Jones of the village organising committee. A big thank you also to Barry Daley who organised the event with much help from others. Thank you everyone who gave so generously.
Offshore Boathouse Modifications Underway
Making the most of the summertime weather, building contractors have moved into the offshore station to make the necessary boathouse adaptations required for the delivery of our new Atlantic 85, due later this year.
The offshore D-class has been temporarily decommisioned whilst these changes take place but we expect our full fleet to be back in operation within 8 weeks given fair weather.
As ever our vigilant crews will be coping with a variety of 'procedures' for undertaking all launches during this period. They've seen it all before though - comes with having a station at the end of a Pier over a mile out to sea!
Patchwork and Quilting Club
Heatwave fails to stop these quilters!
We received a donation last week to the Southend Lifeboats from the Patchwork and Quilting club who meet at the Conservative Club in Leigh
They held a coffee morning with a raffle for a very large quilt made by one of the members
They raised £950.00
Pictured above is Chairman Jim receiving the cheque from Marilyn Smith. Thank you very much everyone involved.
Music To Our Ears.
The Junior Schools’ Music Festival was held from the 8th to 12th June. The Southend Lifeboats were once again this year chosen as their charity on the night of the 10th
Richard and Verle, Dave and Ruth, Janet and Tim were in attendance. The collection raised £738.97p and a couple in the audience donated a cheque for £500.00
It was a very full house with 400 children taking part in the choirs and the bands.
Again, everyone , thank you for such generosity and thinking of the Lifeboat.
Walking the Planks
Martin needs your support and possibly some blister cream!
Martin Sayer is currently raising funds for the Southend-on-Sea Lifeboat Station, by walking the Southend-on-Sea Pier one hundred times over the next five days. If you would like to support him then please go to his Giving Page at www.justgiving.com/teams/southendpier . Thank You
Interested in Joining the Crew?
Check out our Recruitment page
We will be interviewing for new recruits shortly so do let us know if you are interested.
Pressure Mounts on Crew Fitness!
The Sustainable Transport Group Supply New Bike Shed
Crews visiting the Lifeboat station are encouraged to cycle to the station now thanks to a new bicycle shed that has been funded through the Sustainable Transport Group of Southend Borough Council.
This fantastic addition to our Inshore facility makes perfect sense given our position in relation to the seafront cycle lane which our crews use regularly. Many thanks to everyone involved in this acquistion.
Inshore D-class swapped over for maintenance service
This week saw our Inshore D-class Lifeboat, D-682 swapped over for D-680 for a maintenance service back at Poole. Next week will see the offshore D-class also exchanged but this will be for the next generation of D-class that is being rolled out across the UK.
This will put Southend RNLI in the very unusual position of having 4 different class of Lifeboats on station!
Combine this with the new buggies that we are also due to have and you can imagine how busy training nights are about to become.
The Great Heave-Row
Burnham on Crouch Lifeboat pay a visit to Southend
Southend played host to the last leg of Burnham on Crouch Lifeboat's 4 day Big Heave-Row fundraiser.We sent crew out to assist with the final heave along the Golden Mile but it was the buffet and drinks back at station that the Burnham crew were most pleased to see we reckon!
This was a phenomenal effort by our flank station and it is your generosity has seen their target smashed out of the park. Thank you to everyone who supported this event. Never too late to donate to this one folks!
Many thanks to management and patrons of The Broker public house in Leigh on Sea. The proceeds from the night raised over £200 on the night for the Southend Lifeboat.
Even though we fielded a few teams from within our own ranks, none were prepared for the high standard of interlect that this pub clearly attracts!
Open Day 2014
June 8th 12:00 to 16:30hrs
Thank you to everyone who came along. The sun came out for us and the crews certainly had a great time showing you all the kit that your donations have bought. See you back we hope next year.
Southend Lifeboat is the busiest coastal Lifeboat station for the second year running
With over 140 Shouts,a third of which were Hovercraft taskings, latest statistics just released show Southend to be the busiest station on the coast for 2013.
This underlines, we think, the investment in the Inshore boathouse, which has improved launch times, made launching easier and safer and helped 'attract' Lifeboat personnel to the premises when not necessarily on duty. Not only has this occassionally resulted in some astonishing launch times but also very much added to a 'club' feel for the station and morale has never been so high.
We never wish for a busy year but we do prepare for one and our thanks go out again to all those who helped make doing our job a slightly easier one.
The RNLI dedicates one of it's ex-fleet D-boats for the sole purpose
of training crews around the coast how to deal with an inversion of
the lifeboat. This is so important as it is this class of lifeboat which
tips more than any other craft in the fleet.
The D-class lifeboats have a powerful engine on what is quite a light boat. Combine this with a choppy sea and a good breeze and there is a lot of scope for even an experienced helmsman to get caught out.
So the first thing we learn is how to minimise the chances of a capsize in the first place.However, if we do get caught out,and thankfully this is very rare around our waters, it is very confidence boosting to know that it is possible to get righted very quickly and be able to be underway again after the procedure of re-starting the engine.
Of course we would have radioed in our circumstances well before undertaking that. Thank you to Tom for the picture who was sitting in the luxury of the drivers seat on the Atlantic 75 as safety boat for the duration of the Exercise.
RE House Pier Walk
This motley crew held a sponsored walk on the pier last year dressed
as pirates and raised £333.00 for the modifications to the boathouse.
Many thanks to all those who sponsored the walkers and those who took to the planks.
Replacement B class Lifeboat and Boathouse modifications targets reached.
The Southend-on-Sea Lifeboat Station takes delivery of its new Atlantic 85 in 2015. This new lifeboat has been paid for by just one individual, who we cannot thank enough for their generosity. To house our new lifeboat correctly, modifications to the launch capabilities of our offshore boathouse are needed. These are budgeted to cost £250,000, of which the crew and fundraisers of Southend-on-Sea were asked to raise £50,000. Through the generosity of a number of legacy payments to the RNLI, including those from Mrs Joan Margaret McLaughlin and Mr Ronald Austin Whittingham, the fantastic donation by one individual to the Southend-on-Sea appeal, and all the other fundraising events, pledges and donations, the Southend-on-Sea crew & fundraising team are delighted to announce that the total amount of £250,000 has now been raised. Therefore, all those connected with the Southend-on-Sea Lifeboat Station, along with the wider RNLI team, would like to officially thank everyone who contributed to the raising of these vital funds. Thank you...
A Massive Haul From Chelmsford Angling Association
Competition raises £1300 for the Lifeboat
When Ash, one of our Lifeboat crew, isn't out on the Lifeboats, he is often to be found on the banks of some lonely pond in some corner of Essex, often in the cold pouring rain attempting to catch fish and then throw them back in again. But don't feel sorry for him - he does this on purpose! Thankfully he also has quite a few friends who do the same and that relationship has yielded the RNLI some £1300 as the Chelmsford Angling Association elected to make the Lifeboat a beneficiary of their recent charity fishing competition.
Many thanks for the funds and to the sponsors of the competition DT Baits and Bevan Tackle and all who were part of this very successful event. Here is the official press release. Sounds like it was a lot of fun.
Sea Ranger Association
Sea Ranger Ship Solebay
The Lifeboats had been booked to visit our good friends at SRS Solebay for quite sometime now. The visit was not only to thank the members of the group who formed the Guard of Honour for HRH The Duke of Kent, but also for serving refreshments throughout the afternoon on our big Inshore Boathouse Opening Ceremony. The Rangers were fabulous and it really was the least we could do. Except there wasn't enough tide to get up the creek with both Lifeboats! So a Lifeboat crew where gathered and a presentation made at their Headquarters in Old Leigh. Our crew demonstrated the PPE we use and some very probing questions were fielded. Our crew were truly kept on their feet with such a well informed audience listening to every word.
The young ladies were certainly not phased by the pager technology we use - as our crewman Adam found out at 1:30 in the morning! His pager had been passed around the group and came back armed!! Just as well he needs the practice jumping out of bed.
The presentation ended with Group Skipper Karen Cruiks handing a cheque
over to our Hovercraft Pilot Mike for the RNLI for £150 raised
by selling cakes no less!
Thank you all very much for this and we hope (tide allowing!) that it is not too long before we can give you all a closer look at our Lifeboats.
Hovercraft Night Exercises
The Thursday night training crews are taking advantage of the early
dark evenings and are putting our pilots through some night time flying.
Never has the phrase 'Use the Force Luke' been more appropriate. Deprived of many visual references, at night, the pilot really learns to 'feel' the craft hover.
This is best first practiced on safe smooth terrain, where rather than worry about geography, the pilot together with his observant crew, can practice balancing the craft out on the wind through making a series of turns.
15 mins of this can feel like an hour, so we rotate the pilots and it's true to say one learns just as much from watching others.
So if the weather is fine, and it's a Thursday night - Watch out for us going around in circles in the estuary.
Official Crew Photo Just Printed
Southend Lifeboat Crew Photo
The Official crew photo has just been printed and framed and now hangs
proudly on the wall of our brand new Inshore boathouse.
Of course,getting absolutely everyone who should be in the photograph, is practically impossible, but we are so pleased that so many of our ranks were able to turn out for our Opening Ceremony back in July.
Already some of the crew in the shot have moved on whilst new volunteers have joined, such is the nature of life...boating!
Southend Busiest Coastal Station This Summer
Figures Just Out
The crews already knew as much but the boffins down in HQ can now officially
confirm that this summer Southend was some 25% busier than last year!
Read the full Press Release here with comments from our Regional Operations Manager, Andrew Ashton.
Mud Rescue Exercise With Fire Brigade
The Hovercraft crew was invited to take part in a multi-agency mud
rescue scenario off Canvey Island.
Well we jumped at the chance because this kind of exercise is so beneficial to everyone who takes part.The good news was that being held in the summer gave the weather the best chance for us to field the hovercraft itself. On the downside was the real possibility of getting an actual Shout mid-Exercise and also of course to be considered was the getting a group of volunteer crew together for the Exercise in the middle of the school holidays.
Anyway a few emails and phone calls later the crew were arranged and the Exercise was on.
On the day a mud patch chosen that was particularly sticky and the Fire Brigade were able to demonstrate the effectiveness of their mud mat 'stepping stone' technique to get to a mud bound casualty. When the Hovercraft parked up alongside nobody was left in any doubt as to how easy getting to the casualty scene our machine makes things.
It can make such a vital difference to get to a scene and not be worn out by just trying to get there (just ask any of our Lifeboat crew who have missed the buggy and had to cycle against the wind to get to the boathouse!).
The Exercise included some medical scenarios and a stretcher requirement thrown in just to get everyone thinking. All in all an extremely useful afternoon. But then of course back at station, long after our friends at Trumpton have washed down their mud mats and are making a brew, we were still washing down H-004 which would have taken ages! Thanks also to the Coastguard for taking part and we really hope it is not too long before we all meet up again for another joint Exercise. Photographs courtesy of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.
Hovercraft on Countryfile
Julia Bradbury meets 'Captain' Whistler
Check out this recent episode of Countryfile where our very own newly promoted Michael Whistler talks to BBC tv's Julia Bradbury about the Hovercraft on the Broomway flats.
Busiest Weekend of the Year
Crews out all weekend.
The weekend duty Lifeboat crews were out all over the weekend as temperatures
peaked on Sunday. A good show of sunshine always raises the likelihood
of a shout. And so it was with the Hovercraft rescuing 27 people stranded
on the sand around the Mulberry Harbour.
They couldn't be all taken on one trip so our Pilot had his work cut out ferrying loved ones back to shore.
Not to be out done though was the Atlantic 75 crew at the end of the Pier. They had a sinking Catamaran to contend with. All in a days work though for our crews. Even nicer to report was no injuries apart from possibly a little too much sun in some cases. We should not complain - should we!!
More SOS than SAS
Thursday night training
This was sent into website HQ by an obvious inside whistleblower from crew training night. We all thought here that training nights were meant to be about serious hard drilling of SAR operations. We now learn the truth. It turns out it is all nothing but one big mud fight. This total sham will be investigated further and if more
comes to hand they will be published.
Sunday morning 19/5/13
Its not every Sunday morning that we get the opportunity to Exercise with not only our flank station Gravesend or Sea King 125 - let alone both at the same time!
And so it was on 19th May that our very good friends at Wattisham informed us that they could be in the area if we could get together a crew for a lifting scenario of a casualty with a broken leg from a floating vessel.
The Atlantic 75 played the part of the casualty vessel and Gravesend and Southend ILB2 were the 'RNLI' and observation platform for the combined Ex.
The Exercise ended with a formatting drill with the Helo running into the Easterly wind with the Lifeboats tracking underneath.
All in all an extemely big ask of my 300mm lens but a fantastic opportunity for all the crews involved.
Southend Lifeboat Ready for Action
The station is beginning to buzz now. It doesn't matter what day of
the week you put your head in - you meet someone different every time!
Many of us for years now have been doing the various paperwork which goes into keeping a Lifeboat station afloat at home. Slowly these jobs are being done more and more on station, which can only be a good thing.
It means others can see just what is going on which is just what a volunteer station the size of Southend needs.