October 2005 vol. 2: 42

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OCTOBER 2005 VOl.2:42

Newbiggin Lifeboat Station

Lives Saved Since 1851 635 + 4 DOGS

Launches Since 1851 539
This Month’s Headlines

Weather for October 2005 Exercises Services Boathouse Repairs Volunteers Day First Aid TW20H

Weather for October 2005

October began with mild even warm conditions with some dry weather for a change. By the middle of the month we were into periods of heavy rain, thankfully some of which was overnight. By the middle of the month the wind swung around to the south east bringing on rough sea conditions. Of note the 27th of the month was an exceptionally warm day for this time of year with temperatures hitting the dizzy heights of 18 degrees, indeed these unseasonably warm conditions continued until the end of the month.


Exercises were held on the 2nd, 13th and 23rd.


There was one service call during the month with details as follows;

Thursday 6th October, 2005

I had been down at the boathouse for a few hours in the afternoon to carry out some planned maintenance and with that done left the station for tea at about 17.00 hours. As I was locking up one of our shorecrew came running down to advise that a small open boat had broken down and had drifted onto rocks at Church Point. It was also reported that there might be a person in the water. Minutes later the lifeboat was launched and was soon on scene. The casualty a 16foot open boat with two persons on board was indeed in shallow water and a third man was in the sea, standing on a submerged rock. A tow was made ready then the lifeboat was veered down towards the casualty. With the casualty secured alongside the lifeboat the person in the water swam back to the shore. The casualty was brought clear of the rocks and the occupants transferred into the lifeboat. The journey home was achieved without incident and the occupants once checked were released to return home. The lifeboat was recovered, refueled and washed down by 1900hours.

Boathouse Repairs and Maintenance Works

During the month work began on the programmed repairs and maintenance work. In order to get things moving a security container was hired in and all display material and loose fixtures and fittings were removed from the station for refitting at a later date. Minor repair works began to the boathouse doors whilst inside there was painting. The works continued throughout the month.

Volunteer day

Volunteers from the station took part in a volunteer day during the month. Work on the former Newbiggin Lifeboat got a real boost recently with the first Volunteer Day on this important vessel. Volunteers from the Mary Joicey Maritime Trust were joined by employees from Nothumbrian Water as part of their ‘Volunteer for a Day’ scheme which provides free labour to community projects.

The day involved a variety of tasks including cleaning down, scraping off old paintwork, woodwork repairs and painting.

During the afternoon pupils from Newbiggin Middle School also came along to take part in the event and after an introduction on what was required they rolled up their sleeves to do their bit. Their efforts were rewarded with the presentation of Certificates of Merit in recognition of their efforts.

The day was heralded a great success by the Mary Joicey Maritime Trust Chair Richard Martin who promised that similar events are planned for 2006.He added ‘the concept of the volunteer day and indeed the basis of this whole venture is to allow volunteers to get involved in new opportunities and develop new skills in the process’.

The volunteer day would not have been possible without the support of Lord Tool Hire, Blyth, Metro Painting Contractors, RTM Group Services and International Paints.

During the latter part of 2005 apprentices from the Swan Hunter Shipyard at Wallsend began work on the refurbishment of the lifeboat launching carriage for Mary Joicey. The track system on the carriage had become seized after many years of standing. Members of the Trust stripped down the tracks and they have been taken to Swan Hunter for refurbishment by the apprentices.

Mary Joicey was the last offshore lifeboat to be stationed at Newbiggin and was succeeded in 1981 by the smaller faster Atlantic 21 class inshore lifeboat. Mary Joicey returned to the region in May 2005 following a 24year exile and after spending many years outdoors on display in a Reading park.

The Mary Joicey Maritime Trust aims to secure funding for a new visitor experience for Newbiggin where the Mary Joicey lifeboat will be one of the main display items.

There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to develop the project and further news will be released in 2006.

First Aid Training

Eleven volunteers from the station began a series of evening first aid training sessions this month. The RNLI Instructor Trevor Stephens is carrying out the training over a period of six weeks and is part of the planned programme rolled out to all stations. The training looks at all aspects of first aid including resuscitation and fractures.


Our station tractor was taken away for a week during the month to the North Divisional Base at Teeside to undergo its 12month maintenance work. During its absence it was replaced by relief tractor TW19H.

Richard Martin

31st October, 2005.

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