Major refit taking place at Weymouth RNLI lifeboat station
The pontoon that Weymouth RNLI all-weather Severn class lifeboat 'Ernest and Mabel' moors up to is being dismantled and will be taken over to the old ferry terminal where it will undergo a full refit.
The refurbishment is due to take approx 3 months. While the pontoon is away the area below where the pontoon and lifeboat usually lie is to be dredged. RNLI shore works from Poole HQ will be project managing a number of contractors who will be involved in the refit.
Once the pontoon is taken away and the area clear, the lifeboat will return and be tied up to the two piles that usually hold the pontoon.
Weymouth RNLI lifeboat Coxswain Andy Sargent said, 'The pontoon has been in place for 15 years and is a very valuable piece of equipment for the lifeboat station. It enables us to have power to the boat as well as a fuel supply which makes fuelling much easier; a water supply on the pontoon also allows us to wash the boat down when we get back from a shout. While the work is taking place 'Ernest and Mabel' will be moored on the Pavilion side of the harbour. The crew will use a boarding boat to access it from the station.'
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.