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Old 16 May 2014, 04:47   #1
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RNLI C Class

Hi,

Does anyone have any photos of the C Class lifeboat? I have a vague memory of them being operated with twin engines. Were many in service before they were replaced by the D Class and Atlantic 21 inshore boats?

I did a search online but didn't find a single photo.
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Old 16 May 2014, 04:54   #2
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Zodiac Grand Raid Mark IV's powered by twin 40hp outboards
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Old 16 May 2014, 04:59   #3
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More info here from Mudeford RNLI:

1981
A new boathouse constructed.
The new lifeboat house officially opened on 28 June by the Deputy Chairman, Vice-Admiral Sir Peter Compston, KCB. The ceremony immediately followed a service of dedication of the Zodiac Mark IV lifeboat and presentation of certificates of service to past lifeboat crew members.
1983
The Operational Numbers of the Zodiac Mark IV was changed from the D500 series to C500 series. Thus D504 became C504 overnight.
1988
A crew-room constructed in boathouse in order to provide improved crew facilities.
An Atlantic 21 class lifeboat sent to the station in the spring. A C class lifeboat withdrawn from Mudeford in the summer.
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Old 16 May 2014, 05:06   #4
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Old 16 May 2014, 05:15   #5
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Good stuff, cheers. I remembered them with twin engines but a tiller control system. Was this the case? Was that a steering console in the photo or something else? Purely out of interest I should add. When I was old enough to get a ride in the lifeboats, the station I lived near had a D Class and a Watson.
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Old 16 May 2014, 08:05   #6
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i have a pic somewhere of a c class which was tiller contolled, but i dont think it shows how it was rigged or anything interesting like that. its funny cos i was thinking about the c class boats not long ago.
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Old 16 May 2014, 09:13   #7
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19 December 1982 - The Jane's Rock Rescue

On the early evening of 19 December 1982 reports were received that the yacht, Frieda, with two yachtsmen on board, had not arrived at Ringhaddy having left Killyleagh earlier in the day.

Belfast Coastguard requested the Portaferry Lifeboat to launch in a search for the missing yacht.

The Portaferry Lifeboat was launched at 18:55 with Chief Helmsman, Desmond (Dessie) Rogers at the helm and Helmsman, Francis (Frank) Rogers and William (Billy) Ellison as crew. They proceeded in gale force winds towards the west side of Strangford Lough and began a search in the dark between Holm Bay and Island Taggart.

The yacht was eventually sighted by searchlight, hard aground on Jane's Rock, adjacent to the Long Sheelagh. Unable to land at that position, the lifeboat made its way to the northern end of Jane's Rock where Helmsman Francis Rogers was able to get ashore. With the aid of illumination from a SAR helicopter's searchlight he was able to get to the yacht and found that one male survivor was on board.

The survivor reported that his fellow crew member was missing. The missing crew member had been in their 14ft tender working with the anchor when it was swept away in a north-westerly direction.

With the male survivor on board the lifeboat proceeded slowly towards Kircubbin Bay through the Bird Island Passage. White flares were used to illuminate the narrow channel. Winds had now increased to storm force and as shelter from the southerly wind was gradually lost high seas were experienced, at times almost swamping the lifeboat.

On reaching Kircubbin Bay the lifeboat stood off until shore help arrived shortly afterwards and the male survivor was then landed to safety ashore at Kircubbin at 21:45.



Portaferry's 'D' Class in 1982 - Zodiac Mk 4 with twin 40 HP Mariner outboards

At daylight, in strong to gale force winds, the search was resumed for the missing crew member.

Later that morning the missing yachtsman was found on an island by a coastguard auxiliary. Fortunately, he had been driven ashore in the yacht's tender and had taken shelter under it during the night.

Having been released from service the lifeboat had a difficult passage back to Portaferry in stormy conditions.

For their rescue, Chief Helmsman, Desmond Rogers was awarded the RNLI Bronze Medal; and Helmsman, Francis Rogers & William Ellison, the Thanks of the Institution on Vellum.

The presentation of the RNLI Bronze Medal to Desmond Rogers was made by Her Majesty, The Queen Mother, on 15 May 1984.
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Old 16 May 2014, 09:16   #8
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1979
THE BEGINNING




Dr W (Billy) Brown (centre) and Desmond (Dessie) Rogers (right) with RNLI offcials

Photo: RNLI Portaferry

The Cloughey/Portavogie Lifeboat was withdrawn from service in 1978 due to improvements taking place in Portavogie harbour and representations were made to the RNLI by Portaferry Sailing Club and others to provide lifeboat coverage for Strangford Lough and its approaches. In 1979 the RNLI agreed to trial a single engined 'C' Class lifeboat at Portaferry.

One of the first shouts of the 'trial lifeboat' was on 23 September 1979 when in the late afternoon it was returning after an exercise in the Irish Sea and was called to respond to a SOS from the fishing vessel 'Rueben Bulmer II' with engine failure, giving a last known location as 3 NM South of Portavogie Harbour. The casualty vessel was sighted by the lifeboat crew 1.5 NM East of the North Rock and on arrival on-scene it was found to have a faulty fuel system. Two persons were on board, the skipper and his son. The lifeboat stood by the casualty until the MFV Miss Josephine arrived to tow the casualty to Portavogie. The lifeboat then escorted both vessels into Portavogie and was then recovered and taken by road trailer back to Portaferry. The lifeboat crew on the shout were Jackie Harrison, John Murray (Sen) and K Wilson.

Another shout for the 'trial lifeboat' occured a few days later, on 6 October 1979, again whilst the lifeboat was on exercise near Round Island, Strangford Lough. The call was to assist a small boat with an orange hull reported to be in trouble at the Strangford Bar. The lifeboat proceeded from Round Island to the Strangford Bar arriving at 15:20. After a lengthy search of the area no orange hulled vessel could be located and the lifeboat returned to the station. The crew on board during this shout were Tommy Mason and Herbie Taylor.

Many of the initial exercises in the 'trial lifeboat' were used to gather information about boat headings, transits and to survey suitable launching or landing sites within Strangford Lough and along the nearby Irish Sea coastline. With no Decca or GPS available for inshore lifeboats in 1979 these recorded compass headings and bearings were used time after time by the lifeboat crew to effect successful rescues. Since the range of the small single engined 'C' class lifeboat was somewhat limited, on many occasions the lifeboat was transported by road to be launched at one location and recovered, sometimes at another. In this way maximum knowledge of the local sea area was quickly built up by the crew.

It soon became apparent that there was indeed a need for a RNLI Lifeboat Station to cover Strangford Lough and its approaches and in early in 1980 the good news was received that the RNLI had decided to establish a permanent lifeboat station in Portaferry on 1st May 1980 using a single engined D class lifeboat..

On 19 March 1980 the first meeting of the new 'Portaferry Lifeboat Station Committee' took place in the Queens University marine biology center in Portaferry. Those present were;

Col. William Brownlow - Chairman, D K Elliott - Treasurer, Dr Billy Brown - Station Honorary Secretary, Leonard Lawson - representing the Ladies Guild and Dr Pat Boaden of QUB.

During the meeting it was agreed to:

1. Open a Lifeboat Station account at the Northern Bank, Portaferry

2. The Chairman to approach Sir John Andrews to become the first President of Portaferry RNLI Lifeboat Station.



On 28 April 1980 a meeting was held in Portaferry by Tony Course, Inspector of Lifeboats Ireland, with the station's committee at which the operational parameters were established for the new station as follows;.

The station will be operational from 1 May 1980 using a twin-engined D Class lifeboat from late spring to autumn each year and in daylight hours only.

a. Max operational wind speed - force 6

b. Max operational wind speed at Strangford Bar - force 6 but reduced to force 5 during ebb tides in winds N thru E to SSW.

c. Obligitory radiotelephone calls required if lifeboat is leaving Strangford Lough;

On leaving: At lifeboat's departure from Portaferry quay, before Rock Angus, clear of the race.

On returning: before the race, after Rock Angus, at the lifeboat's return to Portaferry quay.

d. Radio frequencies to be used:

Call on Ch16 and leave or always return radio to Ch16. Work as directed by coastguard on Ch 0 or Ch 67 but otherwise leave radio on Ch 16.

e. Callsigns to use: "Portaferry ILB" - for lifeboat & use "Portaferry Base" - for Lifeboat Station. Use the portable Pye Bantam for the base station radio.

f. Maroons: 2 to be kept at 212 Shore Street and 6 to be kept in the boathouse at QUB

Thus, on 1 May 1980, Portaferry Lifeboat Station was born to carry on the historic life-saving work of the former Cloughey and Cloughey/Portavogie lifeboat stations.

In 1980 the station's crew list was recorded as;

HELMSMEN: Dessie Rogers (Sen Helm), John Murray Sen, John Murray Jnr, Desmond Swail, Mark Browne, Jackie Harrison & Philip Johnston.

CREW: Billy Ellison, Leonard Lawson, Tommy Mason, Frank Rogers, Gabriel Rogers, Heather Brown, Trevor Lawson, Padrig Rogers, Billy Reid, Herbie Taylor, Henrie Taylor, Graham Savage, Allison Ashworth & Jonathan Barry.

Such was the enthusiasm of the local community that a 'Junior Lifeboat' was established, as recorded in the minutes of 8 June 1981, to encourage local youth to become members of the crew. The 'Junior Lifeboat' was under the supervision of John Murray, Phillip Johnston, Herbie Taylor and Tommy Mason. Members of the new 'Junior Lifeboat' were recorded as, Rickie Brown, William Brown, Danny Miskelly, Tommy McNamara, David Ritchie, Martin Swail, Paul Boaden, Patrick Mullen, William Kyle, Ruth Taylor, Gwen Taylor and Garret McBrian. The last recorded mention of the 'Junior Lifeboat' was in the minutes of 25 August 1982.

In the same minutes of 25 August 1982 there was the first record of discussions about the building of a 'new boathouse'. Following a pre-meditated explosion on 27 August 1979 aboard the small motor yacht 'Shadow V' off Oilean Ruadh, Mullaghmore, Co Sligo, two teenage boys, an 82 year old woman and the Lord Louis Mounbatten of Burma were killed and several others were seriously injured. A memorial fund was established by the Belfast Newsletter in memory of those who lost their lives. In 1982 it was decided to use the 10,600 raised by the fund for the 'saving of lives at sea' and to this end it was decided to assist in providing a purpose-built boathouse for the housing of the Portaferry Lifeboat. At the same meeting on 25 August a committee was formed to persue the matter, consisting of Leonard Lawson, John Murray, Herbie Taylor and Major William Brownlow, the station's chairman.

After several years of planning and the hard work to raise additional funds by the station's Lifeboat Guild, a boathouse was completed in 1986.
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Old 16 May 2014, 09:20   #9
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Bingo!!! This is the best picture I can find of a C Class...

http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/utiliti...&langtoken=eng
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Old 16 May 2014, 09:26   #10
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D Class... Looks like a Y to me?

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