High Sheriff of Lancashire (2019) Presents Long Service Awards

The newly appointed High Sherrif of Lancashire, the Honourable Ralph Asheton, kindly agreed to present the long service awards to our eligible members this year.

Members receiving the 5 year award were:
Ann Davies, David Croall, Stuart MacGregor, Nicola Allatt and Charles Hill.  Well done to all.

Of note this year, John Lagette completes 10 years Service and has decided to hang up his binoculars.  In his 10 years John has always been keen to help in many areas not least of which was his tenure as the Training Officer.  We wish him well for the future and he is always welcome to visit at any time should he wish to do so.

Island Spirit to the Rescue

Friday, February 22, 2019 – 12:15
Watchkeepers at Fleetwood raised the alarm with HMCG Holyhead after spottting a dinghy reported by Wyre Rangers which appeared to be in trouble near Kings Scar.
A vessel in the area, ‘Island Spirit’ skippered by our very own David Croall, was contacted by HMCG and asked if he could be of assistance.  Island Spirit proceeded toward the casualties and some 10 mins later came alongside.  The dinghy’s 2 occupants were taken on board Island Spirit and she proceeded to tow the dinghy back to Fleetwood Marina.
The weather at the time was Fair:  Wind SE / F4 SS slight Cloud 3/8 Vis 8nm Baro 1031.97.
As can be seen one of the casualties had a head wound and the young man had been very seasick.  They reported the following to David
“We are hugely grateful to Fleetwood for calling this in.  We were in real difficulty being blown offshore and pretty exhausted”.
Well done to all involved.

2 Rescued by ‘Pisces’ after Vessel Sinks off Fleetwood

A small motor launch with 2 persons on board sank suddenly on Sunday 11th Novemeber at approximately 1240.  The vessel position was 241degrees Fleetwood Tower Range 2.3 nm.

A nearby vessel the ‘Pisces’ spotted this and reported to HMCG Holyhead; Fleetwood confirmed this by telephone to HMCG. Pisces very quickly reached the 2 people and got them on board.  The 2 people were subsequently transferred to the Fleetwood Lifeboat for return to shore.

The Pisces crew and one of the rescued persons later visited the tower to thank all concerned.


AGM 2018

The Annual General Meeting of 2018 was held in Fleetwood Nautical college on the 31st October.

I would like to commend everyone for their support in maintaining an enviable watch record by completing and manning all watches throughout the year.  In that respect this has been a good year for the station.

However, It was noted that this had been a difficult year for the members in terms of illness, particularly amongst those volunteers holding committee and management positions in the team.

A large majority of the executive team has had to be replaced or take up a reduced role. These people should be commended for the work they have done in some often quite difficult circumstances.

The station performance and reports from officers are laid out in more detail in the minutes on the National Website.  However, I would like to take the opportunity to ask members for support in deputy positions, particularly if you have a skill that can be useful to the station.   The station cannot run unless the posts are filled and the deputies are an essential part of the organisation in providing support in times of holiday, illness and in extremis a member passing away as happened this year.

And finally ……..the team for 2018 – 2019 annual photograph (courtesy of Ron Murray)

Declared Facility Status (DFS) 2018

Another year has passed so quickly and this year we have had to be prepared for a ‘No Notice’ DFS check.
This is the new Head Office trial of conducting a performance check on individual stations without a fixed date or any pre warning.
It goes without saying that we should be able to meet the demands of a station that has DFS at all times. However, it is not in peoples’ nature to react well to surprise checks which has the potential to cause some concern with those on the receiving end of the check.
It is with that in mind that the DFS assessors go out of their way to ensure the watchkeepers are put at ease when they arrive.
So what warning did we get of the check this year?…..answer none. The station management team did not receive any notification other that it would be conducted from the 1st to the 13th Sep.
The first the watchkeepers knew that the DFS was to take place was by a call received on Channel 65 from the assessor. Bill T and George S were on duty and the radio was answered promptly using the correct procedures. From the feedback I have had all proceeded smoothly and a good handover was provided to Ann D and Bill C who took over the afternoon shift.
In conversation with the assessor, he reported it was a pleasure to do the DFS at our station again this year. He was particularly impressed with the local area knowledge and the conduct of the watchkeepers throughout the day. He raised some points on the way in which we fill in our Log which I have answered and he accepts since the log may be adapted to suit local station needs. He also spotted that I had not put in the latest chart corrections from the Admiralty. ‘Mea culpa’ I’ve told him we shall institute a method of chart checking for the future, probably with our clock system on the Ops computer. He also asked where our ‘training manual’ was. He was told that the training system is being updated by Martyn C. Whether we actually need a physical paper copy is under discussion. Overall, he commented that the station is very well organised and run very professionally. A copy of the report is on the station notice board.
We are now in my 3rd year as manager and I thank you all for the commitment and willingness to volunteer your time and experience in maintaining the standards required to retain DFS. More importantly, I thank you for the professional lookout maintained during the rest of the year which helps to keep people safe on our shores and sea areas.
Bob Loynes
Station Manager