After recently serving with the Blyth Volunteer Lifeboat organisation, the former RNLI St Peter Port, Geurnsey Lifeboat – 52′ Arun Class, Sir William Arnold enjoyed a full survey in Amble, Northumberland, before sailing down the East coast of England to London to take up a planned new educational role in early 2020. Obviously Covid then scuppered the schedule but hopefully as we move into Spring / Summer things will progress more satisfactorily!
The 1973 built ON1025 served at St. Peter Port from 1973 – 1997 before being sold out of RNLI service in 1998. She won her crews many gallantry medals during her service in the Channel Islands, probably the most famous being the Bonita shout in December 1981.
After being sold out of RNLI service she was renamed respectively; “Our Lady”, “Theocrat” and “Samuel J”, now pleasingly she has reverted to her original RNLI name. She was in effect the second prototype Arun Class Lifeboat following on from the 1971 built 52-01 “Arun”, also featuring a double diagonal mahogany hull and aluminium superstructure but of a design unique to 52-02. Later Arun Class Lifeboats followed the basic superstructure design of 52-03 up until the final 1990 built Arun Class Lifeboat 52-46, ON1160 “Duke of Atholl”, all GRP hulled after the initial three wooden and one Corten steel hulled boats.
Once fully open the new owners plan to use her as an innovative floating education and experience centre based in London’s St Katharine Docks. She will host RYA shore based training courses and team building events, with additional opportunities for visits, tours and talks.