Famous former lifeboat will leave Heybridge Basin tomorrow after more than a year

  Posted: 08.06.21 at 22:10 by The Editor

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A much-famed former RNLI lifeboat will leave her temporary home at Heybridge Basin tomorrow (Thursday, 10 June) rafter more than a year.o

Lifeboat 52-02 RNLB Sir William Arnold will call in at Burnham Marinia before continuing on her journey to her permanent home at St Katherine's Dock, London, on Saturday morning (12 June).

The Sir William Arnold is one of the most famous and iconic lifeboats in the history of the RNLI. The second Arun class to be built in 1973, she served all her time at St Peter Port, Guernsey, before retiring in 1997 with an impressive record of 223 lives saved and 15 gallantry medals awarded to her coxswain and crews.

Featuring among the dramatic rescues the lifeboat was involved in is the rescue of the crew and passengers of Bonita, which was listing heavily in winds gusting to hurricane force 12 with 50ft waves. Twenty-nine people were carried to safety on board the boat during the rescue in December 1981, including women and children. The coxswain won the RNLI’s gold medal for gallantry and the lifeboat crew received bronze medals.

Purchased in Autumn 2019 by her owner and skipper Colin Trowles, she has been lovingly restored back to how she would have looked in her service days ready for her new lease of life as a floating Lifeboat Education and Experience Centre permanently moored in St. Katharine’s Dock London, the UK’s first floating lifeboat museum.

In 2020 she sailed from Amble, Northumberland reaching Heybridge Basin before pandemic restrictions were introduced and has been there ever since, providing guided tours there for more than a year.

-RNLB Sir William Arnold is scheduled to leave Heybridge Basin Lock on the morning of the Thursday, 10 June at around midday and head for
Burnham-on-Crouch Marina where she will remain until the morning of Saturday, 12 June before heading off to Gravesend Town Pier, passing Southend Pier on the way.

She will then head up to St Katharine’s Dock on Sunday, 13 June, arriving there at around 5pm.

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