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Station Lifeboat 1979 – 1997 (returned as relief lifeboat in 1998 & 2001)

Build Cost £249,737
Services: 252
Lives Saved: 52
People Assisted: 129
Property Saved: £2,085,500

RNLB Elizabeth Ann, an Arun Class self righting lifeboat, arrived on station in June 1979. Halmatics of Havent moulded her Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) hull and the boat was fitted out by William Osborne’s of Littlehampton. She had twin 460hp Caterpillar diesel engines giving her a top speed of 17 knots.

She had a baptism of fire when on the 14 August 1979 she was called to assist in what would be later become known as the Fastnet Race Disaster. At 21:15 the Lifeboat was requested to proceed to search an area west of the Isles of Scilly, having obtained additional charts and food she left station at 22:12 and on rounding the Lizard she met the full force of the extremely heavy seas. She arrived on scene at 06:20 (15 August) and checked out a number of yachts before at 09:04 taking in tow the yacht Big Shadow that had nine crew onboard and a broken rudder, arriving at St Mary’s in the Isles of Scilly at 10:55. Having refuelled the lifeboat headed out to sea again at 12:05 and at 15:25 she took over the tow of the abandoned yacht Golden Apple of the Sun from HMS Broadsword, towing her to Newlyn Harbour where she was safely berthed at 01:15 (16 August). After having food and rest the crew once again put to sea at 09:05 to take over the tow of the yacht Ariadne but this was cancelled and they then headed back towards Falmouth being asked to check out two further vessels in the Falmouth area before finally returning to station at 12:32, having been away from station for over 62 hours.

RNLB Elizabeth Ann was officially named at Custom House Quay on 10 June 1980. During her time as station lifeboat at Falmouth the RNLB Elizabeth Ann carried out 249 services and saved 52 lives. She also returned to the station as a relief lifeboat and carried out a further three services.

Services of note include the service on 15 February 1985 to the French Trawler St Simeon 13 miles South of the Lizard for which Coxswain Vivian Pentecost was awarded The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum, and on 26 November 1995 the service to the Catamaran Cloud Nine which resulted in Coxswain Alan Barnes and Crew Member Peter Woods receiving The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum.

The RNLB Elizabeth Ann was retired from service in 2001 and was sold to the Royal Coastal Patrol in New South Wales, Australia, where she initially served as Sydney Harbour Lifeboat before being relocated to become the Ulladulla Lifeboat. She was renamed P&O Nedlloyd Encounter.

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