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Helen Blake, Poolbeg

Helen Blake was built by Groves and Guttridge in 1938, provided from a legacy of Mrs Helen Blake of Sussex. She is a unique example of a Harbour class lifeboat, designed to work within confined waters – however, further production of the Harbour class was halted at the start of the Second World War. 

Black and white image of Helen Blake lifeboat on service

In August 1954, Helen Blake launched into rough seas following reports of cries for help. Two yachtsmen were found clinging to the ladder of the North Bull lighthouse and, with some difficulty, both men were rescued. 

Helen Blake was stationed at Poolbeg, Dublin, for her entire operational life, launching 13 times and saving 5 lives. 

As the power of lifeboats increased and their operating range widened, the neighbouring RNLI stations at Howth and Dun Laoghaire were able to cover the Liffey Estuary – and   Poolbeg Lifeboat Station closed in 1959.

Helen Blake went on to a new life as a cabin cruiser named Sea Call. She now resides in the RNLI Historic Lifeboat Collection at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham

Photographed 14 April 1939