Inshore Lifeboat Centre Wins High Praise from Former Chairman
The ultra-efficient approach to producing and refitting lifeboats at the RNLI’s East Cowes-based Inshore Lifeboat Centre was a matter of pride for the Isle of Wight, declared the former Chairman of the national charity.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the RNLI’s Isle of Wight Board, held at the Royal Yacht Squadron, Charles Hunter Pease said the approach ‘was one of the best examples to be found of continuous improvement’. It not only cut the cost of producing inshore lifeboats but also the build time.
Now the same approach was being adopted in the production of all-weather lifeboats at the newly established facility on the RNLI’s headquarters site in Poole, and the East Cowes site had received fact-finding visits from such companies as Rolls Royce and Landrover.
“So acorns grown here are being applied elsewhere, and you should be very proud on this Island,” added Charles Hunter-Pease, a former top executive of car-makers Volvo.
The ILC approach was also referred to by the site’s Operations Manager, Glyn Ellis, in his report. He was expecting the cost of each Atlantic 85 would be reduced by £10,000 in the coming year, he said.
Board President, Maj Gen Martin White, said it had been ‘another great year’ for the RNLI on the Island. “Thank you everyone who has made a contribution to this success.” Drawing attention to the exhibition being held at the meeting, he said it celebrated the importance of volunteers to save lives and raise funds over the 154 years of the board’s existence.
Robin Ebsworth, Board Chairman, said the board continued to act as a link between the Island stations, guilds, branches and the ILC – encouraging co-operation, communication, collaboration in fund raising, and supporting new initiatives. To general applause, he also paid tribute to Hon Secretary Lesley Myland who ‘so ably’ looked after the board’s business.
Tim Woodcock, the board’s Hon Treasurer, said the Island raised £329,515 net for the RNLI. Guilds and branches contributed £136,741 – an increase of £4,000 on the previous year.
Of special note were receipts generated by educational teams across the Island. “Education plays an increasingly important part of the work of each RNLI management group, particularly with current national and international RNLI campaigns. One example of this was Respect the Water, aimed at reducing the number of lives lost through drowning.”
Maj Gen White presented a citation to Mrs Victoria Raymond co-chairman, along with Mrs Caroline Peel, of a highly successful fund-raising event in London for the new Bembridge lifeboat station.
A surprise gift of a painting depicting an Atlantic 85 near The Needles, was presented to Charles Hunter- Pease. The painting was done by the coxswain of Bembridge lifeboat. Steve Simmonds, at the instigation of Glyn Ellis who had enjoyed a close working relationship with the former chairman.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.