Recent training exercise between the GAFIRS new Independent Lifeboat & HM Coastguard Helicopter 104
Press Release for forthcoming Naming & Dedication Ceremony
The Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (GAFIRS) will be holding an official naming and dedication ceremony for their new Lifeboat on Saturday 21st April.
The Independent Lifeboat is to be named “Jim & Mollie Newton”, in memory of a Shropshire couple. It was the couple’s generous legacy that financed the purchase of the hull of the Halmatic Pacific 30 rigid inflatable boat (RIB).
The ceremony will take place at the GAFIRS Lifeboat Station, Lifeboat Lane, Stokes Bay, Gosport at 1400 on Saturday 21st April. The Jim & Mollie Newton will be officially named by the GAFIRS Patron Dee Caffari MBE.
Members of the Newton family along with VIP guests and members of GAFIRS and their families will be attending the ceremony. Members of the public are most welcome to attend too.
The project to complete the fit out of the new Lifeboat has taken almost 8 years to achieve. During this period fundraising was ongoing to purchase major items such as two Iveco inboard diesel engines, two Castoldi 238 water jet units, a bespoke engine box to meet the requirements of GAFIRS and the console and gantry with an array of electrical equipment. GAFIRS also extended the lifeboat station to accommodate the new Lifeboat along with other operational assets, this too required significant funding. The unpaid volunteers of the Independent Lifeboat Service have completed almost all of the fit out of the new Lifeboat themselves; this has been achieved by a small team working evenings and weekends.
GAFIRS Vice Chairman (Operational) and coxswain Mike Allen is pleased to report that the new Lifeboat surpassed their expectations during recent sea trials in the Solent. The Halmatic Pacific 30 craft provided a very stable platform and proved to be very comfortable at speeds in excess of 40 knots. The quality of build will ensure that the Lifeboat remains in service for many years to come. Once operational, the craft will be one of the most modern and sophisticated Lifeboats of its type in the Solent area, if not the UK. The Independent Lifeboat is powered by twin Iveco 330hp inboard diesel engines each driving a Castoldi 238 water jet. Its electronic fit out includes a Raymarine HD radar and W90 chart plotter with a sonar interface, AIS(B) transponder, Rhotheta VHF direction finding equipment and two Icom VHf DSC radios along with a comprehensive range of equipment for rescue work..
The new Lifeboat will greatly increase the capability of GAFIRS; it will provide an excellent Search and Rescue (SAR) platform. In recent years GAFIRS have experienced an increase in the size of vessel that they are being tasked to by HM Coastguard. The Lifeboat will be capable of operating in all sea states and wind speeds that are likely to be encountered within the Solent area. Its normal area operation will be from Portsmouth Harbour, including the harbour, westwards to Titchfield Haven and south to the Isle of Wight. GAFIRS are on call 24 hours a day, throughout the year. In addition, Lifeboat and crew are at an immediate state of readiness from 0930 – 1800 on weekends and Bank holidays, between April and November.
For further information on the Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service visit their website at GAFIRS - Home