|Posted on August 29, 2013 at 2:35 PM|
Skerries RNLI lifeboat 'Louis Simson'. Photo: RNLI/Eric Walsh
A new Atlantic 85 lifeboat for Skerries RNLI is to be officially named Louis Simson during a ceremony at the lifeboat station in the north county Dublin coastal town at 2pm on Saturday 7 September.
The lifeboat which went on service in February was funded by a 75-year-old legacy from the late Charlotte Jordan Simson in memory of her husband Louis.
Charlotte who hailed from Salem, India, married Louis Simson, a native of London, in 1882. The couple relocated to Tasmania where Louis was a mining agent and stockbroker. Following his death in 1922, Mrs Simson returned to the UK where she lived in Paddington London until her death in September 1938. Mrs Simson made provision in her will for a trust fund that would provide various relatives with a modest income for life. She arranged that, once the trust fund had come to an end, the remaining money should fund an RNLI lifeboat to be named in memory of her beloved husband.
Now, three quarters of a century on, Mrs Simson’s wish will be granted when Leo Cody, a former Deputy Launching Authority and one of the founding members of Skerries RNLI station, will officially name the lifeboat.
Niall McGrotty, Skerries RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘This is a very special occasion for our lifeboat station and we are most grateful to the late Charlotte Simson for her generous legacy which has funded our lifeboat, Louis Simson. Since the lifeboat went on service earlier this year, there have been 21 call outs and 45 people have been brought to safety. We will be proud custodians of this lifeboat, which will go on to rescue and save many more lives in the years ahead’.
The RNLI established a lifeboat station in Skerries in 1854 and a boathouse was built. The station closed in 1930 when a motor lifeboat was placed on service at Howth. The station was re-established as an inshore lifeboat station with a D class lifeboat in 1981. The lifeboat was kept in a stone-built house on the sea front.
In 1997, a B class Atlantic 21 lifeboat was placed at the station for evaluation and a new boathouse was completed in August that year for the Atlantic lifeboat and launching tractor.
The Atlantic 75, B-747 Rockabill, named after a lighthouse off Skerries, was place on service in June 1998.
In 2005, the station was awarded a Centenary Vellum to commemorate an aggregate of 100 years service as a lifeboat station.
Fast, manoeuvrable and reliable, the B class operates in rough weather conditions, capable in daylight up to force seven and at night, to force six winds.
The new lifeboat, an Atlantic 85 is the latest version of the B class, introduced into the fleet in 2005. She is powered by two 115horsepower engines and has a stronger hull and greater top speed than her predecessor. The added radar allows the crew to operate more effectively in poor visibility and she also has VHF direction-finding equipment.
The vessel also has a manually operated self-righting mechanism which combined with inversion-proofed engines keep the lifeboat operational even after capsize. The lifeboat can also be beached in an emergency without causing damage to its engines or steering gear.
The Atlantic 85 carries a full suite of communication and electronic navigation aids, as well as a searchlight, night-vision equipment and flares for night-time operations.
The RNLI is a charity which relies on voluntary contributions and legacies.