New floating lifeboat station at Poole

The new building has been built by Weymouth based Sawtell Construction Ltd. The new building has been built by Weymouth based Sawtell Construction Ltd.

A new floating lifeboat station has been installed at Poole, UK that has been designed to improve the efficiency of the lifeboats at this busy station.

The building, designed by ECA Architecture and Planning is located alongside the old lifting bridge and the architects were keen not to make the boathouse look like the standard industrial sheds so it has an angled roof creating a design that is sensitive to the location, which is in a conservation area.  The unit has been built with two bays where the boats can be housed clear of the water but ready for instant use.

The new building has been built by Weymouth based Sawtell Construction Ltd. at a location between the two bridges in Poole Harbour. It was constructed in two sections and then lowered into the water for a float test. Once finished it was towed down the river by tugs from Jenkins Marine and located alongside outside the lifeboat station ready for the next phase of installation. This entailed slotting it into position, on the piles installed by the bridge.

Inside the boathouse the boats will be carried on their cradles just out of the water ready to be launched 24/7. The new boathouse will offer protection from the elements which in turn will help to cut down on maintenance requirements which will help to extend the boats’ lifesaving capability.

When bringing casualties back to the station, the crew will be able to do so discreetly, the transfers will be sheltered and more comfortable for the casualties. The new boathouse will also be a safer work environment for the mechanics, for them to carry out the essential routine weekly, fortnightly, monthly and 6 monthly maintenance checks and there will be more room to securely store equipment and spares, which will be easier to access.

Poole lifeboat volunteer helmsman Jonathan Clark said; “Both operational lifeboats have been on a floating pontoon alongside the quay for the past 18 months and at times this has been a challenge. To see them in their new abode will be a new chapter in the stations history, and the new lifeboat house will vastly improve the efficiency of our search and rescue service here at Poole lifeboat station”.

In time it is planned that there will be an opportunity to welcome visitors to the station and to view the boathouse, to give an insight and share the lifesaving work.

By Dag Pike

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