Model tug ‘Bargarth’ towing the RNLI X-class lifeboat with New Brighton crew on board before it sank
Credit: RNLI/Bob Warwick
Author: Bob Warwick
A feat of scale power was seen when a full size RNLI X-class inflatable lifeboat with 2 lifeboat crew aboard was towed round New Brighton’s model boating lake by two scale model tugs escorted by two scale model lifeboats.
This was also the scene of the first RNLI New Brighton rescue in the boating lake when one of the model tugs got into trouble.
Lifeboat crewman Matt Fossett commented ‘ We were happily being towed along in our X-class lifeboat by the miniature wonders, when a rogue wave swamped the lead tug ‘Bargarth’. Before we knew it, its bows were in the air and it rapidly sank. In true tradition of the lifeboat service we went into action and recovered it from the depths of the lake. The tug was drained off, we ensured that no model crew had been lost and returned it to shore for repairs. Meanwhile another tug ‘Pollgarth’ was rapidly brought into action and carried on with the tow’
This was during Wallasey Model Boat Societies fundraising day on behalf of RNLI New Brighton that has become an annual event. Modellers from Wirral, Runcorn and North Wales showed off the capabilities of their radio controlled powered craft and skills as modellers to an appreciative audience.
The magnificent sum of £1304 was raised through sponsorship of the lifeboat tow, a superb raffle and tombola with lots of donated prizes, bucket collection on the day plus a sale of models. In addition a visit was made by an escaped Dalek and those who photographed it faced extermination if they failed to make a 50p donation in the fundraising bucket. During the previous week a collection was also made at Morrisons Supermarket, New Brighton
A wide range of superb models were on display ranging from a scale model of the Isle of Mann Steam Packet Company ship Mona’s Isle, a collection of tugs often in action plus of course some lifeboats. A superb model of Moelfre Lifeboat stations new Tamar class lifeboat 16-25 ‘Kiwi’ plus a historic Waveney class lifeboat 44-018 ‘The Scout’ the original lifeboat was operated by RNLI Hartlepool from 1977 to 1997. Both of these acted as escort during the towing operation.
Wallasey Models Boat Societies Secretary John Williams said ‘Many of our members are retired mariners and have a great deal of respect for lifeboat crews. We are really pleased that through our hobby we have a means to raise funds on an annual basis to support the work of our local lifeboat station’.
RNLI New Brighton Lifeboat Operation Manager Graham Sale said ‘We appreciate the efforts made by the Wallasey Model Boat Society. This is turning out to be a very busy year for us having already exceeded last years number of shouts by 25% and are now up to 56 shouts. That means extra fuel costs, wear and tear on equipment and crews so donations like this make a real difference to our charity’