In May the CLI took delivery of a Tyne class lifeboat from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in Britain. Bruce Docherty and John Horton (engineer and captain of the Steveston Lifeboat) traveled from Vancouver to the RNLI headquarters in Poole so they could conduct the sea trials and accept the vessel in a formal handover.
The Lifeboat was originally built by the RNLI as “The Famous Grouse (47-021)” and has now been renamed the “Fraser Lifeboat (1A-04)”. The Grieg Star shipping company provided transport for the Fraser Lifeboat to Vancouver, but that service could only start from Vlissingen (Flushing) in Holland. After considerable research, it was decided that the best way to move the lifeboat to the Netherlands was on it’s own hull – so John and Bruce drove it across the English Channel. They spent the first night of that trip in Gosport at HMS Dolphin. The second leg of their journey ended with an overnight stay at the RNLI station in Dover. The next morning they made an early start and crossed the English Channel itself. As they approached the coast of Holland, the KNRM Lifeboat from Breskens came out and provided a courtesy escort into harbor. The KNRM also provided moorage for the Fraser Lifeboat until it could be loaded onto the Grieg Star transport bound for Vancouver. With the Fraser Lifeboat on board, the cargo ship “Star Lima” departed Holland at the end of May and the most recent ETA for its arrival in BC is 31 July.
Both the RNLI and the KNRM provided outstanding assistance, courtesy and hospitality. It is very much appreciated. Many other organisations and dedicated individuals helped to make this acquisition possible.