Seahouses RNLI Lifeboat Station
Seahouses RNLI Lifeboat Station, Seafield Road, Seahouses, Northumberland NE68 7SH. Tel: 01665 720370
Tallus MB-H Tractor:
The Talus MB-H is used specifically for launching the Mersey class all-weather Lifeboat. The Tractor has a totally enclosed cab and is fully waterproof. It is capable of working in 5ft (1.52m) of water. The driver's seat can operate forward or in reverse. The tractor is controlled by a simple joystick, which is pushed in the direction of travel required. The speed is regulated by a throttle lever. The winch is operated by a simple haul/stop/payout lever. The vehicle weighs 19 tonnes.
Views of the tractor, inside the cab, and the hydraulic winch with its Kevlar reinforced cable.
The Joystick make it easy to drive, but towing the boat takes real skill !
The station has been allocated a Landrover 110, to tow the ILB on its dual purpose road and launching trailer, intended for use to transport the ILB to launch sites away from the harbour, e.g. Holy Island Causeway and Beadnell. The vehicle is fitted with a Premier Hazard Light bar, with blue lights, blue grill repeater lights, electronic wail/yelp/hi-lo and air horn tone siren, marine VHF radio, first aid equipment and survival blankets, an oxygen therapy kit, high visibility clothing and protective helmets. The vehicle also is used to tow the buggy/trailer carrying the recovery skids for the Mersey boat. The Landrover replaced a quad bike, which was unsuitable for road use. The issue of an additional oxygen kit to this vehicle (kits are carried on both lifeboats) is as a result of a dramatic increase in diver related in incidents during 2003, where divers were coming ashore at Seahouses with potential decompression sickness (bends). The Coastguard personnel do not carry oxygen, so the RNLI were called on each occasion to administer first aid, i.e. oxygen, till the arrival of an ambulance and helicopter. The crew frequently assisted their coastguard colleagues in setting up the helicopter emergency landing site, and the diver was usually taken by an RAF Rescue Helicopter from RAF Boulmer, to either Hull or Aberdeen, being the nearest decompression chambers, with appropriately qualified staff. The Landrover shown above, LR81, now displays the new design of RNLI Hi-Vis Reflective livery (fitted 2010), which will be rolled out on all fleet landrovers.