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The New Lifeboat

Ferryside and its new lifeboat.

Presenting a history all the way back to 1835, the lifeboat in Ferryside is very much part of the fabric of the community and the people of Ferryside are rightly proud of that long history.

Down through those years the people have been served by a succession of vessels, all of which have been purposely designed to go to sea with the sole aim of aiding those in distress.  While design and build methods have changed with time, modern day lifeboats serve that exact same purpose in the exact same dangerously hazardous conditions.

As a necessity of serving in very arduous conditions, lifeboats tend to have a “working life expectancy” of around ten years. This is especially true of inshore lifeboats such as those stationed at Ferryside, where the planing hulls used on RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) take a particular hammering. The current lifeboat (named “Blundell” after a previous benefactor) at Ferryside was purchased in 2001 and is now due for retirement. During her career she has attended many hundreds of “call outs” and assisted in aiding untold people in distress.

However, time and technology moves on. Her systems, while perfectly serviceable, are not up to modern lifesaving standards. Her hull, while perfectly sound, is of an older and less efficient design. Her engines, though still full of life, are in need of replacement by newer models of a lower weight and greater power.

To this end the crew at Ferryside have spent a number of years raising the required funds to purchase a new lifeboat (we are a boat independent of the RNLI and so this was done entirely by past and present crew members). Due in no small part to a very generous donation from the South Wales Masons, this year we have been successful in that goal and Ferryside shall have a new lifeboat by the Autumn.

Ferryside Lifeboat - New Boat Plans
Ferryside Lifeboat - New Boat Plans

The new boat (as yet unnamed) will be longer at 6.4m LOA, she will have the very latest technology including the latest Raymarine navigation systems, fully waterproof electrics, fully wireless communications, and the very latest self righting systems (RIBs are as happy capsized as they are the right way up). She will be safer, more efficient, and faster than her predecessor. She will have more space for more casualties and she will be better placed to respond to call outs. She will be fully coded to MCA standards, and she will fully comply with the MCA’s draft code of practice for lifeboats.

She will be manufactured by Ribcraft of Yeovil, the same as her predecessor, and no doubt will prove to just as safe and successful a lifeboat as “Blundell.” To date the new boat is yet to start on the production line. However, final specifications have been agreed with Ribcraft, our first of probably three or four site visits has taken place, and a close working relationship has been struck with Ribcraft.

The crew of Ferryside Lifeboat are in no doubt that our new lifeboat will help provide the very best lifesaving at sea to the people of Carmarthenshire. We sincerely hope that you will keep a watchful eye on our website for build updates and therefore watch our new lifeboat come to life and grow alongside us crew.

Anthony Rees (Coxswain)

Ferryside Lifeboat.


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