May 2015 update

2015 03 272982web

Our boat, Spirit of the Dart, D702 has returned to station from a refit at the Inshore Lifeboat Centre at Cowes. We are glad to see her back and thank D710 from the relief fleet for standing in.

The Spring weather has been dry and sunny with a predominately easterly airstream which has produced lower than average temperatures. This may explain a quiet period for our Lifeboat crew. The Station however has had a busy month of change.
We have had three major crew changes with Rachel Cole, Darren Kershaw- Hopley and Steve Wallis having to stand down. Rachel had to resign from the crew as she has moved away from the area for employment and Steve is also now working mainly away from Dartmouth. Darren has a recurring knee problem and has had to stand down from crew duties. Fortunately Steve will be able to join our shore crew and Darren has agreed to act as a Deputy Launch Authority.

I was extremely pleased to meet three prospective volunteers for the crew in Hannah Barton, Ty Hall and Aaron Spicer. Subject to successful medicals they will join the crew and begin training in the next month. We also have three new shore crew; Paul Manley, Mick Jones and Stuart Millard who will strengthen our team of Tractor Drivers.
These additions to the station secure our future viability as an effective lifeboat for the Dart maritime environs.

Rob Clements
Lifeboat Operations manager

Visitor Centre
The local fundraising team at RNLI Dart and their colleagues at Head Office in Poole are delighted to say that the building work and refurbishment of The Old Post Office building is progressing well and is now close to completion. The RNLI are now working closely with a design team who will be fitting out the interior. Once completed the visitor centre will be an exciting, innovative and "hands on" attraction that will draw in many visitors showing the varied aspects of the RNLI, both locally, nationally and even internationally. It will also have a shop offering the chance to purchase RNLI souvenirs. Although the work has taken longer than was originally expected, it is still expected to be open in time for the main summer season.

They are now looking for volunteers to staff the centre. The centre is to be locally managed by Strete resident, Tracey Lucas with the support of Amanda Woods, Visitor Experience Manager at Poole. Tracey is looking forward to working with a team of local volunteers, from all walks of life. "We are looking for anyone, young or not so young, who is looking for something new, would enjoy working in a team, has time available and would like to be involved. It could be on a regular basis or just a few occasional hours. No experience is necessary. Everyone who volunteers will be fully trained to enable them to confidently enjoy meeting visitors and working in the visitor centre". 

An open evening was held at the beginning of April for anyone interested in joining the team and was very successful with 17 people registering their interest.
Due to subsequent inquiries a second evening is to be held on Monday 18 May, to be held at the lifeboat station on Victoria Park from 6pm to 7pm. Tracey and Amanda would like to invite anyone to come along who may wish to become a volunteer to find out what is involved and find out more about our local station. They would also like to invite those they've already met to come along for an update and have a chance to see our lifeboat.

If you are not able to come to the meeting but would like to volunteer or to find out more, please contact Tracey on 01803 770233 or email (

A training programme will be starting soon that will be held locally and Tracey will be contacting all volunteers by email with details.

Chairman Fundraising Branch
In this edition I will concentrate on this year’s flagship, whole town event, the Louisiana Street Party on Sunday 21 June in Dartmouth’s historic Old Market. We expect over 200 guests and this will be a ticket only prepaid event. No tickets will be available on the day on the door. The cost per person is £35, of which at least £10 will be donated to RNLI Dart.

Guests will have tickets marked with a location of the assembly point where you will meet the marshals between 1130 and 1200, who will check tickets before we march, New Orleans style, behind a jazz band to the Market. Your place will be marked with your name and a free drink will be available on arrival. A cash bar will be available all afternoon. Two courses of food will be available plus a vegetarian Gumbo. A live Jazz Band will entertain us throughout. It will be a great family event. Book your tickets now through Bob Hattersley on 07791458836 or Get your tickets early to avoid disappointment.

We shall also need help to set up on Saturday from 5pm, on the day itself and for clearing up on Sunday from 4pm. We have been promised some help from young officers of BRNC but we still need many others to make this a success. We need food servers, gate keepers, marshals, scene-builders, table setters etc. probably more than 20 in all. All helpers will be rewarded with a free lunch! If you can help please contact Bob.

Dartmouth Leisure Centre Open Day
There will be an open day at Dartmouth Leisure Centre on Saturday 9 May, with all sorts of events and competitions, mainly for children. DLC have adopted RNLI Dart as their chosen charity for 2015 so the Lifeboat, Tractor and crew will be there from 1030 to 1230 and all proceeds for the day will go to RNLI Dart Lifeboat.

Other planned events for your diaries are;

Tuesday 5 May. Coffee morning at the Royal Castle Hotel. 10am to 11.30am. £5 to include coffee, biscuits and raffle. RNLI souvenirs will be on sale.

Friday 31 July. Flag Day street collection – I will have 50 one hour slots to fill for street bucket collectors all over Dartmouth. I will be contacting you soon for volunteers but you can reach me any time on 07889953974 or email

Thursday 6 August. Annual RNLI Fete in Royal Avenue Gardens – I will be contacting regular stall holders in the next month or so. I am expecting it to be a fun and exciting day for all.

Sunday 16 August. Car and Vehicle Rally in Coronation Park

Details of all these and other events will be forthcoming in later editions of this update.

Ed Featherstone.
RNLI Dart Lifeboat Branch Chairman

The May issue of ‘Dart D’Tales’ is being distributed. You should either receive a copy with ‘By the Dart’ if yours is one of the roads we have paid them to distribute to, have it delivered by hand or have it posted to your address. If are expecting a copy and it does not arrive by mid-May let me know via the contact us page on the web site. Please consider donating as a Friend of the Dart lifeboat to help cover its cost. It is also available to view using the link on this web site.
John Fenton, Dart Lifeboat Press Officer

Posted on Mon 4 May 2015 by John Fenton LPO

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