Spirit of Guernsey back where she belongs
THE Spirit of Guernsey, the island’s own all-weather lifeboat, arrived safely back home yesterday after seven months in the UK.
After suffering damage to her bilge keels – which provide lateral resistance to the water, prevent rolling, and support its weight on dry dock – while in service at the end of November 2019, she was sent to the Isle of Wight for repair.
Following the replacement of her port bilge keel, her return was then delayed when the boatyard closed due to the UK lockdown in March.
Once the yard reopened, she undertook sea trials before being transferred to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in Poole for routine maintenance last month.
It was yesterday that the RNLI delivery team brought her back to St Peter Port before taking the relief vessel straight back to the UK.
The Spirit of Guernsey was deep-cleaned before being put back on station.
Lifeboat operations manager Chris Harvey said he was happy to see her return.
‘It’s fantastic to have our own boat back,’ he said.
‘As well being one of the best maintained Severns in the fleet, there’s nothing quite like your own boat that the crew know inside out.
‘That said, we are extremely grateful to the RNLI in providing us with a relief boat in less than 24 hours, and is testament to the invaluable work and support that they give us.’
The St Peter Port lifeboat was damaged last November when it collided with submerged rocks in the course of a call-out to rescue a fisherman whose vessel had sunk and had swum to rocks offHerm.
Guernsey operates with two lifeboats, the inshore The Elizabeth and Margaret Milligan B-class Atlantic lifeboat, which was introduced in July last year, and the all-weather the Spirit of Guernsey, which has had its cover provided by Relief Severn Class Lifeboat Fraser Flyer while it was undergoing repairs.