Horton and Port Eynon RNLI’s new inshore D class lifeboat named Barbara Jane
At a special naming ceremony and service of dedication held today (Saturday 18th August 2018), the Horton and Port Eynon RNLI Lifeboat Station officially named its new D class lifeboat, Barbara Jane. The ceremony was held at the Horton and Port Eynon Lifeboat Station.
The honour of handing over the lifeboat and officially naming her went to the donors Dave and Barbara Smithson. They were accompanied at the ceremony by members of their family and friends.
Dave and Barbara started sailing in the 1980’s and having completed training and qualifications sailed extensively in the South West and over to Brittany. Their experience taught them about the power and changeable nature of the sea. They said that ‘It was only natural that we became regular RNLI supporters in recognition of the valuable service proved by the charity. We are both happy to be able to fund D-824 Barbara Jane and look forward to further visits to her home in Horton and Port Eynon’.
During the ceremony, Commodore Sir Robert Hastie accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the charity, from Dave Smithson, before handing her over into the care of Lawrie Grove, Lifeboat Operations Manager of the Horton and Port Eynon Lifeboat Station.
During his address, Sir Robert praised the efforts of all those who supported the work of the station. Lifeboat Operations Manager Lawrie Grove accepted the lifeboat on behalf of Horton and Port Eynon Station ahead of the Barbara Jane being blessed in a service of dedication led by Reverend Justin Davies. The lifeboat was then officially named by Barbara Smithson.
The D class Barbara Jane replaces the Albert Wordley which served Horton and Port Eynon RNLI for the last 10 years. During that time, the lifeboat launched 254 times assisted 295 people and saved 25 lives.
Originally introduced in 1963, the D class has evolved into a highly capable modern lifeboat. It is the workhorse of the RNLI’s fleet and is ideal for working close inshore, near rocks or in shallow water in moderate conditions. It can be righted by the crew if it capsizes and is also part of the RNLI flood rescue team’s fleet of boats.She comes into her own for searches and rescues in the surf, shallow water and confined locations - often close to cliffs, among rocks and even inside caves.The RNLI established a lifeboat station in Horton and Port Eynon in 1968. This year the Station celebrates its half century.
A crowd of well wishers turned up to see the lifeboat officially named with a bottle of Gower Gold Beer poured over the side of the boat before it launched at the end of the ceremony. The crew were Jon Tarrant, Will Carey and Louise Sullivan. Barbara Smithson specifically wanted to use a Bottle of the local beer to stress the local links. The Mumbles All Weather Lifeboat and the Burry Port Lifeboat came down to Port Eynon bay to welcome the new lifeboat to the RNLI.
The Phoenix Choir of Wales attended and sang at the event.
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, in a normal year, 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.