An email on Sept. 11 offering ‘a donation of marine equipment’ resulted in the transfer of the 38’ Roberts Bank Lifeboat and a large assortment of rescue equipment to Kent Harrison Search and Rescue, says the group’s president Marv Anderson.
The Roberts Bank Lifeboat – Delta Society (Delta Marine Unit) voted to dissolve and had to transfer their assets to another non-profit society with a similar purpose by the end of October.
Kent Harrison SAR members inspected the vessel on two occasions to assess its suitability for use on Harrison Lake and then to learn more about its operation. Eventually the vessel was transported to Agassiz on Oct. 28, where it will be stored until next year. The District of Kent has approved storage of the vessel at the old highways yard. Once launched on Harrison Lake, moorage will be donated by Killer’s Cove Marina. Jim Killer has provided moorage for Kent Harrison SAR’s boats at no cost for many years now.
The Roberts Bank Lifeboat was built in Southampton, England in 1995 for Trinity House, the UK Government agency that oversees marine safety. Originally named the THV ‘Ready’, the Halmatic ‘Pacific 38’ rapid intervention vessel was purchased in 2008 by the Roberts Bank Lifeboat – Delta Society and transported to British Columbia where she was renamed the ‘Roberts Bank Lifeboat’.
In 2012, two new engines and Arneson drives (surface piercing propellers) were fitted at a cost of $250,000. With a total of 960 horsepower the vessel is capable of a top speed of 40 knots and is self-righting. A marine survey commissioned by the team has established the current market value of the vessel at $300,000.
“This vessel is purpose-built for marine rescue and will provide a much safer and faster response capability on Harrison Lake” said Anderson. Some modifications and extensive crew training will be required before the vessel is ready to be put into service in 2015. Kent Harrison SAR expects the costs to exceed $15,000. The current primary rescue vessel (Spirit of Harrison) will eventually be sold. The team wishes to express sincere thanks to the members of the former Roberts Bank Lifeboat – Delta Society for all their hard work in acquiring and renovating the vessel. The vessel’s new name is the ‘Osprey’.