2011 has proven to be a year of great significance for the lifeboat, with a number of significant changes to both equipment and personnel, and a renewal of our relationship with both St John and the wider community.
The most obvious change is the new lifeboat, “The Freemason,” and we can now announce that she has officially gone on-station and is active with HM CG. Plans for 2012 and beyond include a replacement “mud boat” for use at low water, a renewal of crew Personal Protective Equipment, and the launch of a campaign to raise funding for a rescue hovercraft in Ferryside. So watch this space…
However, perhaps the most significant changes are the ones seen amongst the crew, as it is the crew that is the heart and soul of the lifeboat.
Coxswain Dave Smith has decided to retire and, after many years continued service, has decided to spend more of his time with his wife Doreen. Dave, the entire crew wish you and Doreen all the very best for the future, and it is our sincerest hope that we will continue to see you down at the boat station. Our door will forever remain open to you.
We have seen many new and returning crew, and thanks to crew members Rob Harley, Mark Kessel, Ben Morris, Jason Duxbury, Adrian Batte, and Alan Brinkworth we now have greater strength in depth than we have had for a long time.
At our recent crew Christmas party, new crew Richard Jones and Simon Lamble were both promoted to full crew from trainee status. Together they both have made huge contributions to the running of the boat and have proved themselves more than up to the job in a rescue scenario. Additionally, we are pleased to announce that “Iowa” Mike Hackfort has accepted a promotion to Senior Crew. As well as continuing to be our Secretary, Iowa will now take his advanced powerboat course and begin to run crew-training sessions.
Finally, we can announce that Senior Crew James Littlejohns has accepted promotion to Coxswain. Jim is an advanced powerboat user, with a history of teaching powerboat skills to people in the Swansea area. Since joining our number, Jim has continued improve his skill levels and knowledge and, through innumerable hours training, has acquired an intricate knowledge of the lifeboat and the waters on which she serves. Alongside Coxswains Tony Bean, Andy Morgan, and Anthony Rees, Jim will now assume full command in rescue situations as a Launch Authority for Ferryside Lifeboat.
The crew of Ferryside Lifeboat would like to thank all our supporters for their help and assistance during 2011. You are too numerous to mention you all by name, however rest assured that your assistance is greatly appreciated and continues to help keep the lifeboat tradition in Ferryside. Furthermore, we would like to wish everyone the very best for the coming new year.