The History of RNLI TGB

Revgd1
12th July 2005, 18:45
RNLI TGB

(Supplied by money given to RNLI as an anonymous gift)
Number of Launches:- 34

Number of Lives Saved:- 24

The TGB was a twin-engined 47 foot, breadth 13ft, draught 4ft6ins,
Watson class, non-self-righting lifeboat built by JS White of Cowes at a cost of £35,000 in 1962.

In her 7 years of service coxswain Dan Kirkpatrick and his crew had several dramatic rescues which earned them medals of bravery. One of these dramatic rescues was of the Aberdeen trawler ‘Ben Barvas’ which got into difficulties and came ashore on the Pentland Skerries on Jan 3rd 1964. The rescue was a 6 hour ordeal undertaken in very heavy seas with the added problem of a fast tide creating heavy surf breaking on the skerries.

All but 5 of the crew were rescued by breeches-buoy, as the conditions did not permit the lifeboat to get alongside the trawler, with the remaining 5 having been removed earlier by another trawler ‘Ben Screel’.

The Silver Second-Service Clasp awarded to Coxswain Dan Kirkpatrick for the rescue of nine of the crew of the 'Ben Barvas'. Coxswain Kirkpatrick also received a gift from the James bower Endowment Fund.

It was during her rescue of the crew of ‘Ross Puma’ in April 1968 that for the first time ever the crew were recovered using the ships own liferafts, since then this is a standard procedure for rescuing crew and passengers.

1968 The Silver Third-Service Clasp awarded to Coxswain Dan Kirkpatrick for the rescue of 15 lives from the trawler 'Ross Puma' of Grimsby, which was wrecked on the Little Rackwick Shoals on 1 April. Coxswain Kirkpatrick also received the Maud Smith Award of £5 for the bravest act of live-saving in 1968 and a gift from the James Michael Bower Endowment Fund.

The boats were escorted by the Stromness Lifeboat and reached Scrabster Harbour at 8.55pm.


Longhope Lifeboat Disaster 17th March 1969.

The TGB unfortunately came to a very sad end as on 17th March 1969, when the lifeboat capsized while on service to the Liberian vessel 'Irene' and her entire crew of eight lost their lives.On the evening of the 17th of March 1969 at 7.29 pm, the Coastguard telephoned Jackie Groat (Hon Sec) to say that the Liberian registered, Greek owned ship SS ‘Irene’ was in difficulties 21 miles East of Duncansby Head, later she was found to be to the South of Old Head South Ronaldsay.

The Longhope Lifeboat ‘TGB’ was launched from Brims at 8.00pm in a force 9 south-easterly gale which had been blowing for several days turning the Pentland Firth extremely rough, visibility was also reduced owing to heavy rain and snow showers.

At 9.07pm the ‘TGB’ radioed the Coastguard telling them that they were 1 mile east of Swona.

At 9.15pm the SS ‘Irene’ was driven ashore by the south-easterly gale about ½ a mile from Grimness South Ronaldsay, the position was radioed to the ‘TGB’ and was acknowledged at 9.28pm, that was to be the last message received from the “Longhope Lifeboat ‘TGB’.

The Light keepers on the Pentland Skerries saw the Lifeboats stern light about 9.35pm 1 mile east of the Pentland Skerries battling through mountainous seas.

Wick radio called the ‘TGB’ at 10.10pm there was no reply, and so they repeated the message every five minutes.
By this time the ‘Irene’ was hard aground on the beach near Grimness and Coastguards had managed to save the entire crew of the stricken vessel with breeches- buoy from the land side.

At 10.30pm there was still no reply from the ‘TGB’ and the Coastguards started to fear the worst, the Kirkwall Lifeboat ‘Grace Paterson Ritchie’ (a 70 ft Clyde) which was also on service to the SS ‘Irene’ was asked to search an area from Grimness to 1 mile East of the Old Head, South Ronaldsay, they did so without success and had to seek shelter due to the sea conditions.

At first light on the 18th of March a massive search was mounted, which involved the lifeboat’s from Kirkwall, Stronsay, Stromness and Thurso, with assistance of a helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth and a Shackelton aircraft from RAF Kinloss.

At 1.40pm the Thurso Lifeboat found the ‘TGB’ capsized 4 miles South West of Tor Ness point (Hoy), and proceeded to tow the upturned Longhope Lifeboat to Scrabster Harbour.

Not one of the seven Lifeboat men onboard the ‘TGB’ had survived, with the body of the eighth Lifeboat man (Assistant Mechanic James Swanson) missing.

The coffin’s of the 7 Lifeboat men were carried back across the Pentland Firth to Longhope pier on the Kirkwall Lifeboat ‘Grace Paterson Ritchie’ and on the 22nd of March 1969, after a service at Walls Old Church Longhope, the 7 Lifeboat men were laid to rest in Osmondwall church yard on the shores of Kirkhope looking out on the Pentland Firth.

On the 9th of August 1970, HRH Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother unveiled a memorial plaque in the Walls Old Church (now St Columba’s) and a statue memorial of a cast bronze Lifeboat man looking out to sea, on a stone plinth, in Osmondwall church yard.

A plaque on the plinth of the memorial carries the names of the 8 Lifeboat men who lost their lives on the Longhope Lifeboat ‘TGB’ 17th March 1969:- Coxswain Dan Kirkpatrick, Second Coxswain Jimmy Johnston (son of Mechanic), Bowman Ray Kirkpatrick (son of Coxswain), Mechanic Robert R Johnston, Assistant Mechanic Jimmy Swanson, Lifeboat man Jack Kirkpatrick (son of Coxswain), Lifeboat man Robert Johnston (son of Mechanic), Eric McFadyen.

There is also an inscription below the names:-


Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his fellow men

John Rogers
12th July 2005, 19:49
We all know its an old sea tradition for sons to follow their fathers and go to sea, but what a tragic loss when the sea takes a family.
There are lessons learned from a disaster such as this.
Yes knighthoods go to head knockers and dope sniffers, and men like this are never considered.
JR

stevecz
12th July 2005, 20:39
Reading "Lifeboat" magazine I get the impression that not many Lifeboat-men would want a Knighthood, their ambitions lie in providing their life saving services free of charge.
The RNLI have their own recognition scheme that is more important to them than the give-away's.
When they get a RNLI award, they know they have earned it.

Revgd1
12th July 2005, 22:20
I'm glad that the world has many good and selfless people who will risk limb and life to save others. It's gives us some hope yet. eh?

billyboy
12th July 2005, 23:13
RNLI TGB

(Supplied by money given to RNLI as an anonymous gift)
Number of Launches:- 34

Number of Lives Saved:- 24

The TGB was a twin-engined 47 foot, breadth 13ft, draught 4ft6ins,
Watson class, non-self-righting lifeboat built by JS White of Cowes at a cost of £35,000 in 1962.

In her 7 years of service coxswain Dan Kirkpatrick and his crew had several dramatic rescues which earned them medals of bravery. One of these dramatic rescues was of the Aberdeen trawler ‘Ben Barvas’ which got into difficulties and came ashore on the Pentland Skerries on Jan 3rd 1964. The rescue was a 6 hour ordeal undertaken in very heavy seas with the added problem of a fast tide creating heavy surf breaking on the skerries.

All but 5 of the crew were rescued by breeches-buoy, as the conditions did not permit the lifeboat to get alongside the trawler, with the remaining 5 having been removed earlier by another trawler ‘Ben Screel’.

The Silver Second-Service Clasp awarded to Coxswain Dan Kirkpatrick for the rescue of nine of the crew of the 'Ben Barvas'. Coxswain Kirkpatrick also received a gift from the James bower Endowment Fund.

It was during her rescue of the crew of ‘Ross Puma’ in April 1968 that for the first time ever the crew were recovered using the ships own liferafts, since then this is a standard procedure for rescuing crew and passengers.

1968 The Silver Third-Service Clasp awarded to Coxswain Dan Kirkpatrick for the rescue of 15 lives from the trawler 'Ross Puma' of Grimsby, which was wrecked on the Little Rackwick Shoals on 1 April. Coxswain Kirkpatrick also received the Maud Smith Award of £5 for the bravest act of live-saving in 1968 and a gift from the James Michael Bower Endowment Fund.

The boats were escorted by the Stromness Lifeboat and reached Scrabster Harbour at 8.55pm.


Longhope Lifeboat Disaster 17th March 1969.

The TGB unfortunately came to a very sad end as on 17th March 1969, when the lifeboat capsized while on service to the Liberian vessel 'Irene' and her entire crew of eight lost their lives.On the evening of the 17th of March 1969 at 7.29 pm, the Coastguard telephoned Jackie Groat (Hon Sec) to say that the Liberian registered, Greek owned ship SS ‘Irene’ was in difficulties 21 miles East of Duncansby Head, later she was found to be to the South of Old Head South Ronaldsay.

The Longhope Lifeboat ‘TGB’ was launched from Brims at 8.00pm in a force 9 south-easterly gale which had been blowing for several days turning the Pentland Firth extremely rough, visibility was also reduced owing to heavy rain and snow showers.

At 9.07pm the ‘TGB’ radioed the Coastguard telling them that they were 1 mile east of Swona.

At 9.15pm the SS ‘Irene’ was driven ashore by the south-easterly gale about ½ a mile from Grimness South Ronaldsay, the position was radioed to the ‘TGB’ and was acknowledged at 9.28pm, that was to be the last message received from the “Longhope Lifeboat ‘TGB’.

The Light keepers on the Pentland Skerries saw the Lifeboats stern light about 9.35pm 1 mile east of the Pentland Skerries battling through mountainous seas.

Wick radio called the ‘TGB’ at 10.10pm there was no reply, and so they repeated the message every five minutes.
By this time the ‘Irene’ was hard aground on the beach near Grimness and Coastguards had managed to save the entire crew of the stricken vessel with breeches- buoy from the land side.

At 10.30pm there was still no reply from the ‘TGB’ and the Coastguards started to fear the worst, the Kirkwall Lifeboat ‘Grace Paterson Ritchie’ (a 70 ft Clyde) which was also on service to the SS ‘Irene’ was asked to search an area from Grimness to 1 mile East of the Old Head, South Ronaldsay, they did so without success and had to seek shelter due to the sea conditions.

At first light on the 18th of March a massive search was mounted, which involved the lifeboat’s from Kirkwall, Stronsay, Stromness and Thurso, with assistance of a helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth and a Shackelton aircraft from RAF Kinloss.

At 1.40pm the Thurso Lifeboat found the ‘TGB’ capsized 4 miles South West of Tor Ness point (Hoy), and proceeded to tow the upturned Longhope Lifeboat to Scrabster Harbour.

Not one of the seven Lifeboat men onboard the ‘TGB’ had survived, with the body of the eighth Lifeboat man (Assistant Mechanic James Swanson) missing.

The coffin’s of the 7 Lifeboat men were carried back across the Pentland Firth to Longhope pier on the Kirkwall Lifeboat ‘Grace Paterson Ritchie’ and on the 22nd of March 1969, after a service at Walls Old Church Longhope, the 7 Lifeboat men were laid to rest in Osmondwall church yard on the shores of Kirkhope looking out on the Pentland Firth.

On the 9th of August 1970, HRH Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother unveiled a memorial plaque in the Walls Old Church (now St Columba’s) and a statue memorial of a cast bronze Lifeboat man looking out to sea, on a stone plinth, in Osmondwall church yard.

A plaque on the plinth of the memorial carries the names of the 8 Lifeboat men who lost their lives on the Longhope Lifeboat ‘TGB’ 17th March 1969:- Coxswain Dan Kirkpatrick, Second Coxswain Jimmy Johnston (son of Mechanic), Bowman Ray Kirkpatrick (son of Coxswain), Mechanic Robert R Johnston, Assistant Mechanic Jimmy Swanson, Lifeboat man Jack Kirkpatrick (son of Coxswain), Lifeboat man Robert Johnston (son of Mechanic), Eric McFadyen.

There is also an inscription below the names:-


Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his fellow men
Great men indeed. thats why I became a life guvenor some years ago. still support them from the other side of the world. real human people with big hearts. they even performed a buriel at sea for my late mother (ex stewardes on ss Brighton and ss Londress)

Marcus Cardew
13th July 2005, 17:36
I Hope that you all paid up last Saturday (RNLI Flag Day), and if anyone is in Barrow-in-Furness on Sunday 24th July, come and support RNLI Ladies Guild Gala, starts 13:00, down at Roa Island.... ( and we just heard that we are to get one of the new AWLB's later on next year)
Marcus Cardew,
(President, Barrow RNLI Station)

wully farquhar
28th August 2005, 13:46
Was with the RNLI for thirty two years at Thurso(north of scotland) one of my first shouts was the Longhope disaster, not a nice experience.

Iain Crosbie
31st December 2005, 20:15
The TGB was put back into service after this disaster and when retired went to the Scottish Maritime Museum where it is now a very sorry looking exhibit at the Linthouse building in Irvine. Unfortunately lack of money and enthusiasm is showing, and even though it is now indoors it is still in pretty poor condition.

wully farquhar
5th January 2006, 20:49
Yes Ian isaw here in Irvine around five years ago and she was a bit run down then so i can imagine the state of her now. it is a shame about the fund situation.
wully.

jim barnes
22nd February 2006, 15:42
Small article in Sheffield Star (local news paper)

LIFE BOATS HAVE BUSIEST YEAR
COASTAL emergencies are on the rise, with a lifeboat charity reporting its busiest year on record today. (21/02/06)
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) said its lifeboats were launched 8,273 times in 2005 compared with 7,656 in 2004, an 8 percent increase nationally.
The previouse busiest year on record was 2003 with 8,109 launches and 7,987 people recued.

(Applause)

well done i say... one of the few charities that i contribute to when i see their boxes.
Jim