All change at Sheerness RNLI Lifeboat station
With Shannon 13-38 Judith Copping Joyce about to go operational, crew members at Sheerness are excited by the prospect but will also be sad to lose their much-loved Trent class all-weather lifeboat.
Training has now been completed by the volunteer crew of the Sheerness all-weather lifeboat and all are now looking forward to a long and happy relationship with their new Shannon class lifeboat,13-38 Judith Copping Joyce.
It is expected that the Shannon, which has been on station since April 29, will be fully operational at the Sheerness RNLI lifeboat station by the end of this month.
The excitement of the crew members is also tempered by sadness as not only are they losing their lovingly cared for Trent, The George and Ivy Swanson, which has been on station at Sheerness since 1995, but they will also be losing their much loved and revered coxswain/mechanic Robin Castle MBE who is due to retire after 40 years’ service at Sheerness RNLI lifeboat station.
Robin will make his final trip on the ‘George and Ivy’ when he sails her down to Poole where she will become part of the training fleet. Following some well-earned annual leave he will hand over the reins to second coxswain Paul Jarvis, another long serving Sheerness crew member.
With all his vast experience of not only all things lifeboat related Robin has a wealth of local knowledge of the Medway and Thames estuaries and the many hundreds of creeks and islands that make the area so dangerous for the inexperienced so we are sure that he will still be involved in some way as a volunteer at Sheerness.
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.