Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Aberystwyth Lifeboat Station

Aberystwyth Lifeboat Station was established in 1861, though a lifeboat had been supported in the town since 1843. In 1861 a branch of the RNLI was established and the first boat RNLB Evelyn Wood was launched for the first time. This was a ten oared self-righting lifeboat and has been followed by seven other conventional all-weather lifeboats.

Since 1964 Aberystwyth has had inshore lifeboats only after the last conventional boat was withdrawn and indeed Aberystwyth was the first RNLI station to receive an inshore boat. These can travel in shallower water than conventional boats and thus are more useful in places where most call-outs might be to holidaymakers or boaters in trouble. The current lifeboat, which has been in service since 2008, is the Spirit of Friendship, an Atlantic 85. This has twin 115hp engines that gives it a top speed of 35 knots and carries a crew of 4, it is equipped with radar and direction finding VHF [1]. The station also has a smaller Arancia A-78 rescue craft.

Aberystwyth can be a busy station, in 2014 the lifeboats were called out 41 times. Over the years the crews have been honoured for gallantry 13 times. The RNLI is a charity that could not exist without donations, please visit their website and support this vital service which has saved so many lives.
[1] Nicholas Leach and Tony Denton, Lifeboat Directory (Ships in Focus, 2013) p. 139