3rd June – Tractor training for Fleetwood RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew
As the volunteer lifeboat crew gets ready for the new Shannon class RNLI lifeboat’s arrival inFleetwood, the lifeboat and shore crew’s training will see them using an unusual vehicle on the Fleetwood’s beaches.
The pontoon in the dock at the RNLI boathouse is being upgraded to accommodate the new Shannon class lifeboat, ‘Kenneth James Pierpoint’, so the volunteer lifeboat crew will be launching both their inshore lifeboat (ILB) and the tender for the all-weather lifeboat, from the Fleetwood beach. This will entail the use of a ‘Tooltrak’ tractor, which has caterpillar tracks to enable safe passage over the sand.
The tractor will tow the ILB and tender, when required, to its new launching place and the lifeboat crews are getting to grips with the new piece of machinery.
Captain Dave Eccles, Lifeboat Operations Manager said ‘The training with the tractor, may well come in use in the future, if for example, there’s a problem with the pontoon, very low tides or even silting up. The shore and lifeboat crews are enjoying the experience with the tractor. It’s certainly interesting, and different, to drive !’
The ‘Kenneth James Pierpoint’ is due to arrive at around 1pm on 26 June and will be greeted at its new home by The Band and Drum Corp of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (Lancashire) as well as lots of local well-wishers.