Visit of Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence
10th July 2012
On Tuesday 9 July Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence visited the Lifeboat Station and met the crew at UWC Atlantic College. He is a trustee of the RNLI and is shortly to become chairman of the Operations Committee, and wished to visit selected stations to get a better sense of daily operations.
Accompanied by Colin Williams, our divisional inspector, and George Rawlinson from RNLI headquarters, Sir Tim was welcomed by Stephen Cox, chairman of the governors, John Walmsley, Paul Motte, and Gareth Rees who is Lifeboat Operations Manager. It was his first visit, though his wife, the Princess Royal, visited the College five years ago as Master of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners.
After being introduced to the crew, Sir Tim agreed to pour a little champagne over the bows of LB1, an extraordinary boat which has been built (or rather reincarnated) this summer in the workshops.
It was designed and built in wood at the college in the 1960s and is a RIB of 3.4 metres. Its history is uncertain but it seems to have seen service in Barry possibly with St Johns Ambulance, and was returned to the seafront in good condition recently. Could any ex-students or former staff who know more of its origins please let us know.
Paul Dowling, the Seafront Manager and Lifeboat Mechanic, immediately saw the possibility of making a fibreglass copy of the hull with subtle modifications to support a modern 30 horsepower engine. It should recreate the excitement of the early days and more as, compared with the original the boat, it is very light, using only two layers of fibreglass. With great help and dedication from Laura Breen (UWC Atlantic College 2010-12), the hull was prepared and a fibreglass mould was built during June and early July, and the first boat out of the mould was completed just in time for Sir Tim’s visit and Laura’s departure for the US, with a fine IB Diploma and a Davis scholarship at Tufts University.
Following the anointing of LB1, Sir Tim joined the crew and officers for an informative question and answer session on life boating matters.
LOM Atlantic College RNLI Station