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Major refit taking place at Weymouth RNLI lifeboat station

Lifeboats News Release

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.

RNLI/Ken Francis

The pontoon

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.'

RNLI/Ken Francis

The pontoon begining to be taken apart

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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