A NEW lifeboat station could finally be built in Selsey to increase life-saving capability and secure the service for another 50 years.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has submitted an application to replace the lifeboat station and remove the pier, ready for a modern new lifeboat.
Clive Cockayne, Selsey lifeboat operations manager, said the speed of the new lifeboat – eight knots faster than its predecessor – would increase crews’ ability to save lives.
He added that people would no longer be able to risk their lives by jumping off the pier – an activity known as tombstoning.
“Retaining an all-weather lifeboat has probably secured the future of the lifeboat for the next 50 years.
“The top speed of 25 knots will enable life-saving capabilities to improve because we can get to the casualties that much quicker.”
The station in the Kingsway will be one of the first 12 RNLI stations to get a new Shannon lifeboat.It should arrive in 2016, subject to the station being built. The Shannon is one of the latest designs of all-weather lifeboats and will replace the Tyne-class boat which has been in service since 1983.
The existing station has one small boathouse on the beach and one on a pier which dates back to 1960. This allows the boat to be launched into the sea.
The Shannon will be housed inshore and can driven to the sea. Once it is in place, the current pier can be removed.
Mr Cockayne said: “I’m pleased to say, subject to planning permission, tombstoning will stop.”
The new station will also provide a training room, changing room, workshop, galley, station operations manager’s office and storage spaces.
The lifeboat and station have been entirely funded by donations.
The volunteers launched an appeal for £150,000 to fund the lifeboat and station at the beginning of 2013 and they have exceeded that target. To donate, send a cheque to: Selsey Lifeboat Station, The Boathouse, Kingsway, Selsey, West Sussex, PO20 0DL.
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