RNLI lifeboats often take centre stage in rescues, however, many can’t launch without a tractor and the dedicated shore crew. Operators often launch the lifeboat in raging seas and darkness, and a safe, quick launch can make the difference between life and death. The lifeboat and crew might get the public’s attention, but the tractor and the shore crew are the unsung heroes who more than pull their weight – literally.
This year marks 100 years since the RNLI introduced tractors to launch its lifeboats and the technology nowadays – with the very latest Shannon Launch and Recovery System (SLRS) – is unrecognisable to all those years ago.
Australia is experiencing a boom in its superyacht industry, doubling in size. Vessels have been attracted to Australia and its buoyant domestic charter market. With borders closed, many superyachts have moved to Australia to offer a luxury alternative to overseas travel. This increase in charter activity in Australian waters provides a huge economic lift for the country.
Seemingly this increase in vessel activity has a direct correlation to the new charter legislation passed by the federal government in December 2019. The passing of the Special Recreation Vessels (SRV) Act of 2019, coupled with the closure of international borders have contributed to accelerated growth of the industry.
Though probably best known for founding The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme in 1956, His Royal Highness was also involved in the work of many more charities and organisations which reflected his wide-ranging interests including conservation, the military and engineering, as well as his passion for getting afloat. Well-known for his love of sailing, as well as his long-standing naval career, The Duke of Edinburgh started sailing while he was at Gordonstoun School in Scotland. He sailed frequently with Prince Charles in the Dragon Class keelboat Bluebottle, which was a gift to The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh on their marriage from the Island Sailing Club in Cowes, Isle of Wight. The Duke sailed the boat competitively for a number of years.
The past week has been one of great sadness for me personally, the IIMS head office team, Institute members, and the wider maritime industry with the announcements of the passing of two IIMS champions. Last week, I received news of the passing of Peter Morgan HonFIIMS. Peter died on 4 April. And then just a week later, news that John Excell FIIMS had lost his brave battle and succumbed to a long illness reached me. The news of both deaths affected me greatly.
Detailed obituaries are being prepared for both men and will appear in the June 2021 Report Magazine.
But for now, let me try and make sense of what has been the toughest of weeks as both men were well known to me and many others. Indeed, both in their own ways gave so much to the Institute and will be sorely missed.