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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 June, 2003, 09:15 GMT 10:15 UK
Lifeboat station will be replaced
Tyne class boat
The Tyne class boat at Tenby is also to be replaced
A west Wales lifeboat house is to be replaced just before its 100th anniversary.

The RNLI has confirmed a modern station will be constructed in Tenby and will be completed by late 2004.

Tenby's existing station has been operating since 1905 and although various adaptations have been made it will not be able to house a new class of boat.

Work will start in July and the new building will be located to the east of the existing structure on the site of the old Royal Victoria Pier.

The new location will give much better access to deep water as well as providing increased accommodation for both the new lifeboat and modern crew facilities
RNLI shoreworks manager Howard Richings

The charity says the project will offer many challenges to the contractor Dean & Dyball as the site is both exposed to adverse sea and weather conditions and also difficult to access for the supply of building materials.

RNLI shoreworks manager Howard Richings said: "It is inevitable that there will be some noise and disruption during the construction works but every effort will be made to keep this to a minimum.

Lengthy studies

"The contractor and the RNLI will maintain close contact with the local authority and will also endeavour to ensure that local residents and businesses are consulted and kept informed of any activities likely to have a direct effect upon them or their customers."

The new boathouse is needed to accommodate the new Tamar class slipway lifeboat that is due to come into service from 2005.

Mr Richings added: "The decision to rebuild and relocate the boathouse was taken after lengthy studies.

"The existing slipway has been suffering from increasing levels of siltation, which place restrictions on the launch and recovery of the lifeboat during low spring tides.

"The new location will give much better access to deep water as well as providing increased accommodation for both the new lifeboat and modern crew facilities."

The initial work will involve the driving of piles to form the supporting structure for the slipway and boathouse.

Busy station

This will be followed by the construction of the reinforced concrete deck upon which the boathouse will be constructed.

"The construction plant will be sea based and the piles will be brought in by sea so minimising any disruption to traffic in the town," added Mr Richings.

"Subject to agreement and strict controls, concrete may be brought in by road but this would be restricted to a very short period in the late autumn."

In the short term the existing boathouse will continue to house the current lifeboat.

No application for demolition or change of use will be made until after the new station is open.

Tenby is a busy station, particularly during the summer tourist season.

This year the crew has dealt with incidents ranging from missing children to ferrying paramedics out to nearby Caldey Island.

Last August the boat was launched when a five-year-old boy drifted out to sea on a toy dinghy.

He abandoned the rubber inflatable before the emergency services could reach him and, despite receiving medical treatment on the beach, he later died.

Changes due for lifeboat stations
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