The ultra-efficient approach to producing and refitting lifeboats at the RNLI’s East Cowes-based Inshore Lifeboat Centre was a matter of pride for the Isle of Wight, declared the former Chairman of the national charity.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the RNLI’s Isle of Wight Board, held at the Royal Yacht Squadron, Charles Hunter Pease said the approach ‘was one of the best examples to be found of continuous improvement’. It not only cut the cost of producing inshore lifeboats but also the build time.
Now the same approach was being adopted in the production of all-weather lifeboats at the newly established facility on the RNLI’s headquarters site in Poole, and the East Cowes site had received fact-finding visits from such companies as Rolls Royce and Landrover.
Charles Hunter-Pease, a former top executive of car-makers Volvo added:
“So acorns grown here are being applied elsewhere, and you should be very proud on this Island”.
The ILC approach was also referred to by the site’s Operations Manager, Glyn Ellis, in his report. He was expecting the cost of each Atlantic 85 would be reduced by £10,000 in the coming year, he said.
Board President, Maj Gen Martin White, said it had been ‘another great year’ for the RNLI on the Island. Drawing attention to the exhibition being held at the meeting, he said it celebrated the importance of volunteers to save lives and raise funds over the 154 years of the board’s existence.
Robin Ebsworth, Board Chairman, said the board continued to act as a link between the Island stations, guilds, branches and the ILC – encouraging co-operation, communication, collaboration in fund raising, and supporting new initiatives. To general applause, he also paid tribute to Hon Secretary Lesley Myland who ‘so ably’ looked after the board’s business.
Tim Woodcock, the board’s Hon Treasurer, said the Island raised £329,515 net for the RNLI. Guilds and branches contributed £136,741 – an increase of £4,000 on the previous year.
Of special note were receipts generated by educational teams across the Island. Tim said:
“Education plays an increasingly important part of the work of each RNLI management group, particularly with current national and international RNLI campaigns. One example of this was Respect the Water, aimed at reducing the number of lives lost through drowning.”
Maj Gen White presented a citation to Mrs Victoria Raymond co-chairman, along with Mrs Caroline Peel, of a highly successful fund-raising event in London for the new Bembridge lifeboat station.
A surprise gift of a painting depicting an Atlantic 85 near The Needles, was presented to Charles Hunter- Pease. The painting was done by the coxswain of Bembridge lifeboat. Steve Simmonds, at the instigation of Glyn Ellis who had enjoyed a close working relationship with the former chairman.