A well-used but reliable workhorse leaves its duties at Weston-super-Mare RNLI lifeboat station.

Wednesday 5th December 2018

The volunteer crew watch as the smaller of the two lifeboats at Weston is replaced by a new version. The charity replaces lifeboats on a regular basis.

Ten years ago a new D Class lifeboat was named in Weston-super-Mare. Named the Anna Stock after Colonel Stock whose widow left money in trust for the RNLI in the early 20th Century. It was the second lifeboat being purchased from these funds for the RNLI. The first was called the Colonel Stock and served in Weston from 1903 to 1933.

The Anna Stock was a D class inshore lifeboat, a type which has been the workhorse of the RNLI for over 50 years. Over 50% of all rescues and lives saved by the RNLI are by the D Class. She is highly manoeuvrable and usually operates closer to shore than our all-weather lifeboats. 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 3 hours at sea at this speed on search and rescue missions – a crucial factor when lives at risk.

The D Class was first 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. She has served her volunteer crew well. In many difficult and dangerous conditions she has brought them and their casualties home. In all she was launched on service launched 400 times, rescuing at least 96 people. 22 lives saved of people who would not have survived if the lifeboat had not been there at that time.

 

As well as the service launches she was launched for training nearly every Wednesday evening and Sunday morning. The result was she had begun to suffer from her hard work and a new vessel was needed. The Adrian Beaumont arrived on Wednesday evening and the Anna Stock was taken back to Cowes for her retirement.

Mike Buckland, Lifeboat Operations manager at Weston station 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.’

Top picture shows her service in heavy surf.

The Anna Stock in the boatshed being prepared to leave.

On the trolley leaving the boatshed

On the lorry back to Cowes