Weston RNLI retire lifeboat after years of saving lives at sea

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 December 2018

Weston RNLI in their D Class, Anna Stock. Picture: Weston RNLI

Weston RNLI in their D Class, Anna Stock. Picture: Weston RNLI

Weston RNLI

Volunteers at Weston’s RNLI waved off their smaller, life-saving boat as it was replaced by a new vessel.

Ten years ago a new D Class lifeboat was named in Weston called the Anna Stock, the widow of Colonel Stock, after money was left to the RNLI in the early 20th century.

It was the second lifeboat being purchased from these funds for the RNLI. The first was the Colonel Stock and served in Weston from 1903 to 1933.

The Anna Stock was a D Class inshore lifeboat which has been the workhorse of the Weston charity for more than 50 years.

More than 50 per cent of all the crew’s rescues and lives saved are by the D Class.

The boat is considered to be highly manoeuvrable and usually operates closer to shore than the all-weather, larger lifeboats.

An RNLI spokesman explained: “She comes into her own for searches and rescues in the surf, shallow water and confined locations – often close to cliffs, among rocks and even inside caves.

“With a top speed of 25 knots, as fast as the most modern bigger lifeboats, our D class lifeboat can endure three hours at sea at this speed on search and rescue missions – a crucial factor when lives at risk.”

The D Class was brought into RNLI service in 1963 with the latest version, the IB1, introduced in 2003.

The Anna Stock was an IB1 and built at the RNLI Inshore Lifeboat Centre in Cowes, in the Isle of Wight

The boat has served the volunteer crew well and in many difficult and dangerous conditions, it has brought them and their casualties home again.

Anna Stock has been launched on service approximately 400 times, rescuing at least 96 people, 22 of which were life-saving as they would not have survived if the RNLI had not attended.

Weston’s lifeboat operations manager, Mike Buckland, said: “She has looked after us well over the years and many people are alive thanks to her.

“The new lifeboat will start work immediately and I am sure will give us equally good service.”

The boat is regularly used on Wednesday evenings and Sunday morning for training and has begun to suffer from the hardwork and needed replacing.

The Adrian Beaumont arrived last week and the Anna Stock was retired to Cowes.

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