Port St Mary Lifeboat Station - 2001 News

2001 News Items :

January February March April May June
July August September October November December


2000 News Items
1999 News Items
1998 News Items

November 2001

Lifeboat Christmas Fayre on Saturday 24th at St Marys Church Hall raised £1,125 for the RNLI. A big thank you once again to all that helped on the day to make another successful event.


October 2001

On the Tuesday 30th , the Duke of Kent made a low key tour of three lifeboat stations on the Island including Port St Mary.

His Royal Highness; who has been the president of the RNLI since 1969; made visits to Peel, Port Erin and our Station, as well as having lunch at the Erin Arts Centre with respresentives of all five of the Islands lifeboat stations Crew, Branch and Guild members.

The Duke was accompanied throughout his visit by by Peter Nicholson, chairman of the RNLI and Lieutenant Governor Air Marshal Ian Macfadyen.

At Port St Mary he presented a framed long service vellum to recently retired mechanic, Eric Quillin and long service medals (which commemorate 20 years service) to current crew members Michael Keggen, Brian Kelly and Paul Fielding .

The last Royal visit to PSM lifeboat station was in 1956 by the Duchess of Kent.

Paul Fielding receives his long service medal from the Duke of Kent (copyright Eve Kelly)
Crew being interviewed by Border TV cameraman after receiving awards - fortunately we weren't being broadcast live; even more fortunate was that we weren't broadcast at all !! (copyright Eve Kelly)


19th October - The Lifeboat crew and the Scoill Phurt Le Moirrey parent teachers association joined force to hold a mhelliah at the Albert Hotel, PSM. The evening raised the grand sum of £2,140 which is being equally divide between the PTA and the RNLI. Our thanks goes especially to Peter of the Albert and to ex crewmember, Steve Franks, who acted as auctioneer for the night and brought new meaning to getting blood out of a stone !

September 2001

Station D class, "Frances", D462, returned from overhaul at Poole.

Michael Kneale and Mark Pendlebury went on a week long LOPSAR course at Poole.

12 th Sept. Cox'n Johnny Williams, Mark Walker and Derrick McCutcheon attended the postponed Wales and West Mericia regional RNLI conference at Aberystwyth.


August 2001

At the Monthly Branch meeting, Hon. Sec., Alex Maddrell reported the shock news that Chairman and Deputy Launching Authority, John Williams, had been forced by ill-health to resign his position. The committee were both shocked and saddened by the news since John has been a pillar of the Branch for some considerable time.

LIFEBOAT DAY: Despite the disappointment of the heavy rainfall, provisional Lifeboat Day figures in the absence of the Treasurer; the event and door-to-door collection, together with donations, should show total funds raised of the order of £ 5,000. Alex thanked all helpers and organisers of Lifeboat Day, which had been a success despite the appalling weather.


July 2001

Coxswain John Williams, and partner Joan Cregeen will be guests at one of the Queens' garden partys' at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, 25th July. Johnny was among a party of 41 lifeboatmen, station staff, fund-raisers and RNLI staff and their spouses and children picked to attend the event.

He has been a member of the Port St Mary lifeboat crew since 1966 and was made coxswain in 1987. He received the RNLI’s long-service badge in 1988.


June 2001

Tuesday, 19th June , several members of the Branch and the Ladies Guild attended the all Island Lifeboat Conference at Glen Helen.

Amongst awards to several tireless volunters workers and fundraiser for the Lifeboat were a number for long service to Port St Mary. His Excellency, the Governor, Air Marshal Ian Macfadyen presented John Payne, the Branch Honorary Treasurer with a statuette, and Enid Hill, Denise Quayle, and Jane Blount received long service awards for their work with the Ladies Guild .

Also, on Tuesday evening the lifeboat crew held a surprise 55th Birthday party for Mechanic Eric Quillin who retired from the Lifeboat at midnight the previous day. The party was held at the Bay View Hotel, Port St Mary and attended by past and present lifeboat crew from the village. In addition, Robert Corrin, Coxswain and Terry Radcliffe mechanic from Douglas Lifeboat came , as did the second cox., mechanic and two other crewmembers from Lytham St Annes. Adding to the guests was Divisional engineer, Brian Jackson.

Eric joined the crew in 1971 and was appointed full time mechanic in 1992 (asst mech. 1990 to 1992). In 1981 he was awarded the Thanks of the Institution on Vellum when the lifeboat rescued two of the crew of the yacht Melfort, which had run aground at Derbyhaven during easterly severe gales. Coxswain Norman Quillin, MBE, and crewman, Willie Halsall were also awarded the Thanks on Vellum. Eric and Willie had used the small inflatable boat which Arun class lifeboats carried, to attempt to reach the stranded crew of the yacht as it broke up on rocks. In their attempts the inflatable was capsized and they were washed down wind to be picked out of the water by other crewmen.

Current Port St Mary Coxswain Johnny Williams presented Eric with an engraved lead crystal decanter and glasses to mark his 30 years service to the Port St Mary lifeboat Station.

The night also marked the leaving of three other crewmembers who were each presented framed photographs. These were Gavin Callow, Eddie Maddrell and George Platt. George has left to join the RAF as a loadmaster and hopes to one day see his old collegues at the end of a wire cable in the role of helicopter winchman with a Search and Rescue flight.

During the week Divisional engineer held a 3 day Trent class lifeboat engine and machinery course for the new station mechanic Gordon Caren as well as for the assistant mechanic of the Barra Island Lifeboat who will be acting as relief mechanic at Oban (which also has a Trent class lifeboat).

On Saturday, 23rd June , the Barrow in Furness lifeboat, "James Bibby" called in at midday to take on fuel. She had left Holyhead after receiving a refit and was on passage to Barrow . They moved on to stay the night at Douglas before arriving at Barrow midday Sunday.

On Monday , 25th June, a crew of four from the station flew to Glasgow and travelled onwards to Girvan to meet up with the station assistant mechanic, Paul Fielding. Paul had had to miss Eric's retirement party in order to attend the passing out trials of our Station lifeboat, "Gough Ritchie II". The lifeboat has been at Nobles Boatyard, Girvan since the start of March. She has had her engines stripped down, some new electronics fitted and a full repaint.

The crew returned to Port St Mary today, Tuesday, after taking a lunch break in Donaghadee, Northern Island. The current relief lifeboat at Port st Mary, the "Inner Wheel II", is due to be collected by a lifeboat crew from Portree, Isle of Skye, this coming Friday.


April 2001

19th Apr. 10:25 BST . The Hon. Sec. was alerted by Liverpool Coastguard that a 999 call had been received about a jet skier in difficulties between Langness Point and Scarlett and that lifeboat assistance could shortly be required. However, a few minutes later the situation had appeared to resolve itself after a local Coastguard Mobile unit reported that the jet skier was safe.

18th Apr. Relief lifeboat 52-22 was taken by 4 crew to Silver Boatyard, Gairloch on the Clyde. The boat and crew left at midday and stayed overnight at Port Patrick before proceeding on to Gairloch . Also during the afternoon of the 18th , Trent 14-29 was exercised with a District Inspector and a District Engineer on board to assess that the boat was fit for duty.

16th Apr. Easter Monday Mersey 12-25, "Bingo Lifeline" arrived at 4pm while on passage to Lytham St Annes. The relief lifeboat had been collected by the Lytham Crew at Kilmore Quay and had called in at Arklow for fuel and Wicklow to stay overnight before calling in at Port St Mary.

Hence on the 16th there were 3 all weather lifeboat in Port St Mary!! (12-25, 14-29 and 52-22)

11th-14th Feb . A passage crew of 5 went to Fowey to collect a relief Trent 14-29 as 52-22 needs to go to a boatyard to have a generator set replaced. Thursday night the boat called and stayed at St Mary's in the Scilly Isles.The local Hon. Secretary met the passage boat off the Islands and acted as pilot into St Mary's. On boarding the Trent he brought some very welcome hot Cornish Pasties!!

Friday,13th, the crew made passage across the Bristol channel and stayed overnight at Fishguard. They arrived in Port St Mary early on Saturday afternoon.

14-29 is fitted with updated versions of radar, VHF RDF and colour video echosounder. The boat proved capable of 26 knots in still water.

6th April school visit - How many can we get in an ILB ?
Do you do this in a smaller size and in blue ?

Friday, 6th Apr. Children from the Reception Class of the local Primary school, Scooil Phurt Le Moirrey, visited the Lifeboat Station for an hour during the afternoon. Due to heavy rain the visit was confined to a tour of the Boathouse and the Inshore Lifeboat. 2nd Coxswain Mick Kneale, gave the guided talk. The Children and Teacher got to try on lifejackets and other personal safety gear.

March 2001

26th to 29th March. Several of the crew together with two crew from our neighbouring Station at Port Erin successfully completed a Seamanship course with an Instructor from one of the RNLI's mobile training units.

23rd March. The Beetle Drive organised by the Ladies Guild raised 120 pounds.


February 2001

Picking up 52-22 !! - RNLI HQ depot , Poole ; 15 minutes later the boat was in the water and we were on the way.
Arriving home - the Cox'n takes disinfection measures !


28th Feb . A crew went to collect 52-22 " Bonita and Ralph Farrant" from Poole HQ in Dorset. The lifeboat arrived on Sunday 4th March. Stopping off points were Brixham, Newlyn and Fishguard. 14-26 Gough Ritchie II is going to Nobles Boatyard, Girvan for her two year overhaul.With the exception of some very cold conditions and strong easterly and then north easterly winds between Brixham and Fishguard, the passage was uneventful. However the crew got a full 'welcoming committee' on their arrival back at Port St Mary lifeboat as special arrangements were made with the Department of Agriculture to disinfect the crew as part of preventive measures against the current foot and mouth outbreak in the United Kingdom.

Exercise Lomex - Approching the MV Lady of Man to put a Doctor and 1st aid team on board


25th Feb. 14-26 together with Lifeboats from Douglas and Ramsey participated in exercise "Lomex" off Douglas Bay in sunny but cold conditions with light seas. The Isle of Man Steam Packet ferry, the "Lady of Man" with 250 passengers and 44 crew embarked simulated an explosion and fire on the ferrys' car deck. Designed to test the co-ordination of all Manx emergency services it involved Port of Douglas Harbours authority, Coastguards, Fire Brigade, Police, paramedics and ambulance service and Hospital staff and the assistance of a number of other agencies. It was also to involve RAF SAR helicopter crews from RAF Valley, N Wales and the North Wales Fire Service. However in the event the RAF SAR helicopter was not able to participate due to a real emergency.

To the south of the Island a lot of vessels suffered problems close to the Station during the first and second weeks of February. However, the Stations services were not called upon as incidents either resolved themselves or others coped :-


A collision between two fishing vessel 10 miles south east of Langness Point on the Isle of Man was reported to Liverpool Coastguard on VHF Channel 16 at just before 7.00 a.m. this morning.

The two vessels involved, `Cardea PL 88', a 15.5 metre scallop trawler, and `Ocean Hunter PL96', who both sail out of Peel on the Isle of Man, were in collision in thick fog, and the `Cardea' sank immediately.

The two crew from the `Cardea' were rescued from the water by the crew of the Ocean Hunter' and they are presently returning to Douglas. No injuries have been reported, and the Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) was recovered from the water and deactivated after floating free from the sunken fishing vessel and it began emitting a distress signal.

Steve Cross, Watch Manager at Liverpool Coastguard said: "As the incident occurred so quickly there was no time to get any rescue assets out to the men in the water before they were recovered to the `Ocean Hunter' by that vessel's two crew immediately following the incident in thick fog.

"The crew also recovered what debris they could before beginning to proceed back to the Isle of Man. We have now informed the UK Hydrographic Office of the site of the wreck and also the Marine Accident Investigation Branch. It is expected the `Ocean Hunter' will arrive back in Douglas at about 8:30 a.m. this morning."

(MCA Press release)



At just after 9:30 a.m. this morning, Holyhead Coastguard was advised by Holyhead Harbour Control that there was a disabled cargo vessel off Anglesey.

Holyhead Coastguard quickly established contact with the disabled cargo vessel 'Spruttenberg', a Cypriot registered, 2265 GT vessel with 7 crew on board, and found that the vessel had experienced a gearbox failure which had resulted in the vessel's propulsion system being jammed 'astern'.

Holyhead Coastguard made contact with 'Spruttenberg's' owners, Vega of Hamburg and their underwriters, Samuel Stewarts of London. By 11:40 a.m. the underwriters had confirmed that the tug 'Yewgarth' from Liverpool had been tasked to assist 'Spruttenberg' and was expected on scene at around 7:00 p.m. this evening.

At half past two it was confirmed that the tug 'Yewgarth' had left the Mersey and was underway. In the meantime Holyhead Coastguard monitored 'Spruttenberg's' position closely, which at this point was approximately 15 miles south of the Isle of Man and 24 miles north of Anglesey.

'Spruttenberg' was under tow by 8:50 p.m. this evening and on her way to Liverpool, she is expected to dock at Alexandra dock early tomorrow morning (11th February).

Ray Carson, Deputy District Controller at Holyhead Coastguard said: "Weather conditions throughout the day were atrocious with a southerly gale blowing, as well as rough seas and poor visibility."

(MCA Press release)


Thursday night, 8 February; Meteorites - Liverpool Coastguard was getting lots of 999's reporting red, green, orange and white flares over a wide area. Sky was clear, viz was excellent with very little cloud cover - even an aircraft at 2000ft spotted and reported them to the ATC at the local airport. Anyway after checking with some ships to the south of the Island no further action was taken. Portaferry lifeboat was out searching for 'red flares' and they were stood down after an hour.

Evening of Tuesday, 6 February, (Tuesday in the Irish sea they had forecasted force 8 to 10 with 70 mph gust which didn't materialise, however it was a good gale 8) a SARSAT satellite picked up a 121.5 khz distress homer some 6 miles from here (there was an 11 mile radius of error). In the time before the next SARSAT pass Liverpool coastguard called an all ships before making further moves. A local ferry (a 10,000 tonner) in Douglas answered the call (it had cancelled its sailing due to weather in the morning and was sailing two hours late that evening) before the second pass came the ferry checked their epirbs and found it was one of theirs and turned it off.

Sunday, 3 February, a large merchantman called Defleet limped at the rate of 2 knots for shelter at the southern tip of the Island. Weather was easterly force 6 locally 7 driving rain and poor viz (2 to 3 miles). A tug was called from Holyhead to steam up and take it in tow. Whilst 10 miles south of the Island the tug developed a problem with coolant on one of the engines but got it sorted and then proceeded. Tow was established just before dusk and Defleet was towed of to Belfast to be drydocked (presumably a lose rudder or prop.). The weather was poor enough that I could barely see them two miles west of Port Erin.



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Last Updated 6 -Oct -2001 ( © 1998-2001 ,Brian Kelly, PSM RNLI )