Sidmouth Lifeboat to undergo refit
Lifeboat crew plan taking Pride of Sidmouth to Plymouth by sea for �10,000 refit
VISITORS to Sidmouth Lifeboat Station next week may be forgiven for thinking the town’s lifeboat has shrunk.
For while The Pride of Sidmouth undergoes a �10,000 refit at Plymouth Boat Yard, the smaller, Zodiac vessel, will provide daylight cover from the seafront lifeboat station.
Refit work will take between two and three weeks and will ensure that The Pride of Sidmouth is ship-shape for at least another seven years.
Operations Manager, Andy Downham, said: “We have had this lifeboat continuously on service for seven years now, and the refit is necessary to keep the boat in its best working order.
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“Apart from general servicing, there are components, cables and fittings under the deck that need to be changed and the only way to do this is to have the deck completely removed.
“We have had a full survey carried out with the use of miniature camera, so we know exactly what work needs to be done and all the replacement parts are ordered and ready to be fitted.”
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He said the Coastguard had been consulted over the decision to take the lifeboat out of service and chose January as statistically it is the quietest month.
Members of the public need not worry about safety cover during this time as the Coastguard will task the most appropriate vessel to any location, the Zodiac will give daylight cover and other nearby lifeboat stations will also be on standby.
Conditions permitting, the volunteer crew of Sidmouth Lifeboat will, on Monday, January 9, take the boat on its two to three-hour journey by sea to Plymouth.
“The boat could be taken overland on a low loader, however as an Independent Lifeboat we pay particular attention to the way we spend all the donations we receive. Having the volunteer crew take the boat via sea will save a significant amount on transportation costs,” said Andy.
Mark Roden, Sidmouth Lifeboat’s public relations officer, added: “Visitors should be aware that unfortunately, on occasions during January, the lifeboat station will be closed to the general public as we take this opportunity to also refurbish the tractor, trailer and repaint the boathouse floor.”
Anyone wishing to make a donation towards the �10,000 needed for the lifeboat’s refit, can either visit the boathouse, post donations or give via the “Donate” button at www.sidmouthlifeboat.org.uk.