ON Saturday the (Sep 14), Burry Port RNLI opened a new chapter in its history with the Official Lifeboat Station Opening, and the Naming Ceremony and Dedication Service for the new B class lifeboat, B-915 The Misses Barrie.
With a beautiful day, the weather behaving, the Ceremony kicked off at 4pm, with 300 invited guests and a large number of mostly local people watching the proceedings.
Officially opening the new RNLI boathouse was the charity’s former Chairman, Charles Hunter-Pease O.B.E, who gave a heart warming speech, describing the new facilities and explaining the importance of them, a very welcome visitor to Burry Port.
Master of Ceremonies for the day was Matt Crofts, Lifesaving Manager Wales and West, and after the national anthems, Trevor Griffiths Lifeboat Chairman welcomed the guests and later closed the ceremony as well.
Representatives of ‘The Misses Barrie’ Estate were present. Charlotte Carter from the Trust handed over the Atlantic 85 class lifeboat to Area Lifesaving Manager Joanna Price who accepted the responsibility on behalf of the RNLI. Roger Bowen, volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager then accepted the lifeboat on behalf of Burry Port lifeboat station. Since arriving in June, the inshore lifeboat has been called upon eighteen times to date.
After the traditional champagne pouring over the bow of The Misses Barrie, Helmsman Paul Mitchell introduced Trust representatives to all the crew, who presented a framed photograph of The Misses Barrie with all the crew to M’s Carter.
The Reverend Nicholas Jones, Vicar of Burry Port, conducted the blessing and dedication of the Station; musical entertainment and support was given by Burry Port Choir, who certainly approved the acoustics of the new building.
After the service, guests and visitors were treated to a splendid display of both Burry Port’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat The Misses Barrie and the station’s D class lifeboat Diane Hilary being launched out in the bay. The station’s lifeboats were accompanied by Tenby and The Mumbles Lifeboats, a rare but amazing sight in the Burry Estuary. On the final sweep of the four lifeboats, they were also joined by UK Coastguard Helicopter 187 from St. Athan – a photographers dream taking place on the doorstep.
Guests for the day included many RNLI staff, Emergency Services, flanking station lifeboat crews, local community representatives, local schools, architect and building contractors, crew families, some former retired crew members, and some special friends from people we had been involved with rescues.
To summarise: a perfect day, emotional, tiring, but with an immense feeling of team spirit, so a massive thanks to all who attended, supported, a very proud day for Burry Port RNLI.
Burry Port RNLI are hosting a volunteer recruitment day on Thursday 3 October. The lifeboat station are looking for volunteers to join the team, specifically roles within the Lifeboat Visits Team, Shop Volunteers and a Community Safety Officer. For more information please contact Burry Port Lifeboat Station.
Pics: Byron Williams