Birds eye view of life at Hartlepool RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Hartlepool RNLI lifeboat station has once again played host to a colony of Kittiwakes that have nested below the gangway that leads to the all-weather lifeboat at the Ferry Road lifeboat station.

RNLI/Tom Collins

Kittiwake chicks at the Hartlepool RNLI lifeboat station.

The noisy visitors have once again had a successful breeding season with dozens of chicks hatching and being fed and watched over by their parents along the narrow five inch steel ledge which acts as their nesting place and home for around 8-10 weeks during the summer.

Hartlepool RNLI station mechanic Garry Waugh said: ‘Despite going to and fro along the gangway every day and occasionally during the night to the all-weather lifeboat and being just a few feet from the Kittiwakes they don’t seem too bothered.

‘They are very noisy during the breeding season but some of the sounds they create are quite unique and amusing at times.

‘Even on a shout when myself and volunteer crewmembers are rushing across the gangway to get to the all-weather lifeboat they just watch us cross, oblivious to what’s going on before we head out to sea.'

In a few weeks’ time the young chicks will have flown their nests along with the adult birds until next spring when the Kittiwakes return again to claim their nests at the lifeboat station and share the gangway with the volunteer RNLI lifeboat crewmembers.

RNLI Media contacts

For more information please contact Tom Collins, RNLI Volunteer Press Officer on: 07896 793557. Or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789

RNLI/Tom Collins

Adult Kittiwakes having an argument.

RNLI/Tom Collins

Kittiwake chick and parent.

RNLI/Tom Collins

Kittiwake chicks and Hartlepool RNLI volunteers sharing the gangway to the all weather lifeboat.

RNLI/Tom Collins

Kittiwake chicks and the inshore lifeboat at night.

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.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.