Littlehampton RNLI ready to weather 2021 with boathouse upgrades

Lifeboats News Release

December 2020 sees the completion of major works undertaken on the boathouse at Fisherman’s Quay which include upgraded cleaning facilities and a smart, sustainable frontage.

The boathouse at Fisherman's Quay now has a grey weatherproof facade

RNLI/Ritchie Southerton

Littlehampton Lifeboat station after the recently completed refurbishment

Built in 2002, Littlehampton lifeboat station stands proud on the East Bank of the River Arun. It faces the harsh conditions of prevailing south-westerly winds and rain, so over time the render that protects the building’s riverside elevation has suffered. This year the front of the boathouse has been protected, following planning approvals, by adding weather boarding made from recycled materials which is low maintenance and therefore more sustainable into the future. The shop also has a replacement window and door to keep the rain at bay.

A new water tank has been installed which increases the pressure for hoses used to wash down the boats, tractors and crew that experience the river’s mud during launch and recovery. Inside the boathouse the floor coating has been upgraded to a more grippy and easier to clean surface. The crew have also been installing updated graphic information boards in the boat bays which describe the technical specifications and operational characteristics of the RNLI’s life saving equipment. Access to the boathouse is currently limited to essential personnel only and there is no access to members of the public, but our guides hope to be able to give tours of the resplendent boathall at some point during 2021.

The RNLI is a charity funded by public donations and this December socially distanced fundraising events have been run, literally in the case of the Reindeer Run. Crew, fundraisers and members of the public of all ages donned antlers, red noses and even full Rudolf costumes to run or cycle from 1km to 10km or more on 12-13 December raising funds. Some of the charity’s local volunteers have also been introduced to the community, virtually via social media, in an online advent calendar where yuletide jumpers have been prominent.

One of those volunteer roles is Deputy Launch Authority. The crews have been called out three times so far in December by HM Coastguard to assist in search and rescue operations. Launching a boat involves a large group of personnel including the crew itself, tractor operators and shore safety team. Overseeing the shout is the Deputy Launch Authority who co-ordinates the operations and Littlehampton RNLI are currently looking to recruit an additional volunteer to train up in this important role. Further details are available at:

https://rnli.org/support-us/volunteer/how-you-can-volunteer/be-a-lifeboat-station-volunteer

Nick White, Lifeboat Operations Manager, said of the station refurbishment:

“The upgrades to the boathouse ensure that our volunteer crews can continue operating effectively. Improving the efficiency of our cleaning, which is performed after every launch, ensures that our two inshore lifeboats stay in optimum condition for saving lives at sea. All the crew and other volunteers at RNLI Littlehampton thank the incredible generosity of those who support our charity and enable us to carry on serving our community.”

ENDS

RNLI media contacts

Anthony Fogg, Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer, Littlehampton RNLI 07823 509032 ant_fogg@rnli.org.uk

Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer, London and South East 07785 296252 paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk

For enquiries outside normal business hours contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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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 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.

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