Name: Heather White
Call Sign: Southport Lifeboat
Manufacturer/Model: Halmatic, Arctic 24
Normal Crew: 4
Endurance at max speed: 4hrs
Top Speed: 48 knots
Weather Conditions: Up to force 9
Engine: 2 x Mariner 150HP four stroke
Electronics: Raymarine Axiom Pro 9s and 12s, Radar, Depth Sounder, AIS, Icom M506 EURO VHF DSC, EPIRB 406 MHz and a Crew Intercom.
About: The Heather White was purchased in 2006 after a lot of hard work by the crew and volunteers towards the new lifeboat appeal. It cost over £140,000 in all and was built in Portsmouth by VT Halmatic. The boat arrived in Southport in April 2007 and finally replaced the old lifeboat (Bessie Worthington) in July of the same year.
The 135hp Mercury engines originally fitted to the boat were replaced in early 2011, for more powerfull 150hp outboards.
As the primary rescue boat at Southport, the lifeboat serves an area from the River Mersey to the River Ribble and up to 25 miles off shore.
The lifeboat can be launched within 10 minutes of the pagers going off, depending on the tide, and is the quickest rescue boat in the local area.
In 2018 she underwent a major refit at Habbeke Shipyard in The Netherlands.
Name: Christopher Taylor
Call Sign: Southport ILB
Manufacturer/Model: RNLI IB1 D-Class Lifeboat
Normal Crew: 3
Endurance at full speed: 3hrs
Top Speed: 25 knots
Weather Conditions: Up to force 5
Engine: Mariner 45HP
Electronics: Garmin VHF and DSC, AIS and GPS.
About: The vessel was built in 2016 by the RNLI at the Inshore Lifeboat Center in Cowes, Isle of Wight and replaces the old ILB which was nearly 30 years old and had served Southport since 2005.
Built to the same specification as the RNLI D-class lifeboat, Southport ILB is a handy additional facility to cover the Marine Lake, Inshore waters around Southport Pier and as a back up to Southport Lifeboat.
Paid for in half by a grant from the Department of Transport’s Inshore and Inland Rescue Boat Grant Scheme, the remaining funds came from public donations.
The Trustees decided to name the Lifeboat “Christopher Taylor” after a 21 year old Southport man who sadly lost his life in the River Avon, Bath, in January 2014.
Since Christopher’s passing, his mother, Jill, has raised funds to help the Southport Offshore Rescue Trust continue to save lives at sea.