Port St Mary Lifeboat Station - 2002 News

2002 News Items :

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


July 2002

Saturday 6th July: King Harald of Norway along with Queen Sonja together with the Lieutenant Governor, Air Marshal Ian MacFadyen, his wife and an offical party boarded the Gough Ritchie II for a quick trip around the Carrick Bay before going to anchor in order for the King to start IoM Yacht Club cruiser championship race. At 10:15 BST the party came ashore and went to the IoM Yacht Club where they were introduced by the President of PSM lifeboat, Sir Miles Walker to all the Islands lifeboat Honorary Secretaries, to Miss Amy Kneen, President of PSM Ladies Lifeboat Guild, to the officials of IoM yacht club and also the Trustees of the Gough Ritchie Trust. The King was presented with a framed photograph of the stations lifeboat by Mrs Cathy Ashurst - the photograph having been taken by Cathys' brother, the internationally renowned yachting photographer, Rick Tomlinson (who had in the 1980's been a lifeboat crew member).

June 2002

Saturday 29th June : PSM lifeboat sailed to Douglas Bay to join up with the Douglas Lifeboat, "Sir William Hillary" to take part in the official unveiling of a Memorial to the work of the RNLI by the sculptor, Michael Sandle. The sculpture is situated in the sunken gardens on Loch Promenade directly opposite the Tower of Refuge on Conister Rock. It depicts Douglas lifeboat under the command of Sir William Hillary, 'the father of the RNLI', going to the wreck of the packet ship "St George" wrecked on Conister rock. Both lifeboats anchored at high water between the promenade and the Conister rock whilst the Lieutenant Governor, Air Marshal Ian MacFadyen unveiled the sculpture.

February 2002

1st February. Spring high tides coupled with a storm surge of an extra metre of tide and gales force winds gusting storm 10 caused extensive damage to buildings and breakwaters around the south of the Isle of Man yesterday afternoon.

The lifeboathouse (originally built to house a carriage lifeboat and now used house our D class and boarding boat) was flooded and the parts of the main doors smashed by the force of waves. [ the doors being made with 3 by 2 mahogany frames !!]. In effect our D class has been trapped within the boathouse for 20 or so hours.
Our diesel storage tank is housed in a breeze block constructed bunker also partially collapsed and we will have to use a road tanker of the short term. Fortunately the three tonnes of fuel in the tank did not escape into the harbour.

A fish factory, a public shelter and two dept. of harbours storage sheds which were protected by a thick wall on the seaward side of the breakwater were also destroyed by twenty plus foot waves crashing into it when there was barely two foot freeboard on the leeward side.

Seas sweeping over the breakwater nearly an hour before high water.
The fish factory an hour after high water - note the gable wall is stove in by the weight of the waves.


In several areas seawalls were breached and roads and paths washed away. The main road out off Port St Mary and Port Erin towards Castletown had to be closed for 36 hours in order to clear debris away where 200 m of protective walling was smashed by the sea. Nearby in Castletown the quayside and surrounding streets by the harbour were flooded and the wall on the top of the harbour breakwater washed away for a third of the length of the pier.

2nd Coxn, Mick Kneale dodges debris being washed across the start of the breakwater. Lifeboathouse is in the background. Taken from the Fishermans Shelter approximately half an hour before waves started to demolish it !!
High tide at Lime Street, Port St Mary


Although the police, firebrigade and highway board have worked very hard for 36 hours there was no demands on the lifeboat (it would have been a true struggle to board the Trent because of high dumping seas permanently sweeping our breakwater berth) . The Coastguards did have their work to stop the sight see-ers from being swept into the seas.


January 2002

27th Jan - Johnnys' last trip in charge .Today the man, the longest serving coxswain (cox'n or deputy cox) that Port St Mary lifeboat has ever had, set off on his last training session.

1st Jan.Queen's New Years Honours List - It was announced that Cox'n Johnny Williams is to receive an MBE for his work to marine safety. Johnny has been a crew member for 36 years; 26 years ago he became second coxswain and has been coxswain for the last 15 years.


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Last Updated 2 -Feb -2002 ( © 1998-2002 ,Brian Kelly, PSM RNLI )