BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in December 2005We've left it here for reference.More information

18 April 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
CumbriaCumbria
FEATURES

BBC Homepage
England
»Cumbria
News
Sport
Junior Football
Travel
Weather
Entertainment
Message Board
Video Nation
Enjoy Cumbria
Communities
In Pictures
Webcams
Features
Faith
Diverse Cumbria
BBC Bus
Digital Lives
Comic Relief
Abolition
RaW
BBC Local Radio
Site contents 

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

 


Barrow RNLI
By Claire Barrowdale, BBC Radio Cumbria

Barrow offshore lifeboat
Barrow offshore lifeboat 'James Bibby'

Claire Barrowdale goes behind the scenes at Barrow's Lifeboat Station.

The county has four lifeboats run by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and Barrow was the busiest last year.

LISTEN

Listen again to Claire Barrowdale's series about the Barrow lifeboat first broadcast on BBC Radio Cumbria

audio Part One
audio Part Two
audio Part Three
audio Part Four

BBC download guide
Free Real player
SEE ALSO

Photo Gallery
Images taken whilst recording this series with the Barrow lifeboat crew.

RNLI
The charity's national website.

RNLI in the North
Includes a link to Barrow lifeboat station.

FACT-FILE

The RNLI has 4 lifeboat stations in Cumbria - Barrow, St Bees, Workington and Silloth

2003 was the RNLI's busiest year nationally. In Cumbria - Barrow was the busiest station with 19 calls and 30 people rescued.

Barrow's first lifeboat station was established in 1864. The current station was opened in 2001 and cost £3million.

The Barrow crew cover 50 miles into the Irish Sea, up to Workington and south to Morecambe.

The lifeboat crew has 19 members who go out to sea, plus a team who keep things ticking over back at base.

The Barrow lifeboat is called 'RNLI James Bibby' and is a Tyne Class boat - the Tyne was the first 'fast' slipway boat introduced in 1982. The last Tyne was built in 1990 and the Barrow boat is one of four Tyne class lifeboats operating in the RNLI's North Division.

The boat is steel, 47' long, carries 6 crew & can reach a max speed of 18 knots.

The crew are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year but don’t earn a penny because they're volunteers.

The boat is stored on a table inside the station. When it's launched, the table tips up and the boat slides 80 metres down the slipway at a speed of up to 25 miles per hour.

PRINT THIS PAGE
View a printable version of this page.
get in contact

The crew are all volunteers, who not only give up their time, but also risk their lives to save other people.

They come from all different walks of life - there are people here from the nearby gas terminal, the hospital, the police force, the coroner's office and all sorts of other jobs - a whole range of people, some who give up their time to run rescue missions with the boat and some who keep things ticking over back at base.

The Coxswain Alec Moore is in charge of the lifeboat crew - 19 of them in all. Alec started off as a volunteer 34 years ago as a teenager, and worked his way up through the ranks until he became the boss.

A proud history

As you enter the lifeboat station here there's an exhibition of photographs and information about the current crew and those from years gone by - and for Alec it's like a personal family album...

audio Hear Coxswain Alec Moore talk to Claire Barrowdale

Ron Nuttall, a retired scientist, is the Lifeboat Operations Manager. He is the man who receives the call-out when there's an incident at sea. The area covered by this boat reaches 50 miles out to sea, North up to Workington and South down to Morecambe.

While the crew are out on a job, it's Ron's job to co-ordinate the rescue from the crew room back at base...

audio Hear Ron Nuttall talk to Claire Barrowdale

Always on call

The lifeboat has to be ready at a moment's notice at any time of day or night and the RNLI has one paid member of staff at each station who works full time to ensure the boat is
ship-shape and ready to sail. The mechanic in Barrow is Paul Heavyside...

audio Paul Heavyside talks to Claire Barrowdale

Team work

The volunteers based at Roa Island are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The crew are split into two teams, some inside the cabin, called the wheelhouse, and some outside on the steering deck. I was with the Coxswain, Alec Moore, outside on the deck, doing my best to hang on tight as we plummeted 80 metres down the slipway and out to sea...

audio Claire Barrowdale goes to sea

Find out more about Claire Barrowdale the author of this feature.

Programme recorded April 2004

line
Top | Features Index | Home
More from this section
Features
Countryside Alive
Housing hell & help
Barrow lifeboat

What's on - events News in brief Meet the team Contact us
BBC Cumbria
Annetwell Street
Carlisle
Cumbria CA3 8BB
Tel: (+44) 01228 592444
cumbria@bbc.co.uk



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy