Birnbeck doomed if RNLI moves to Anchor Head?

PUBLISHED: 07:34 18 May 2006 | UPDATED: 09:18 24 May 2010

WESTON'S lifeboat station is set to move off the landmark pier that has been its home for over 100 years. The town's RNLI branch, which accesses one lifeboat from a temporary hut at Uphill and one from Birnbeck Pier, is looking to build a new permanent ba

WESTON'S lifeboat station is set to move off the landmark pier that has been its home for over 100 years.The town's RNLI branch, which accesses one lifeboat from a temporary hut at Uphill and one from Birnbeck Pier, is looking to build a new permanent base.National Piers Society's executive member for the South West, Mike Davies, says the move will mark the end for the crumbling pier.Mr Davies said: "This is the nail in the coffin for Birnbeck. There is no reason people will keep trying to find money to restore it when the RNLI is no longer based there."The life-saving crewmen have been forced to use the temporary hut in Uphill since a routine inspection of the pier showed urgent repairs were needed to the slipway used to launch the boats.The smaller D Class lifeboat is still launched from the pier but the large Atlantic 75 had to be moved to a mooring in the River Axe and crewmen use a small boat to get to it.But the area dries out completely and for 3-4 hours twice a day they cannot get to the lifeboat at all.The RNLI is meeting with North Somerset Council this month to discuss moving the station off the pier and finding an alternative permanent base near Anchor Head.RNLI crewman Liam McDermott said: "We can't rely on the pier anymore."We have the hut at Uphill until March next year and hope to have a different base by then because clearly it is not ideal when we can't access the Atlantic at all heights of tide."A base at Anchor Head is what we will be pushing for so we can launch 24 hours a day using the state-of-the-art tractors we have already trailed."We are desperately hoping to have the support of all the different agencies and authorities involved to get it moving as quickly as possible.

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