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T.J.KING lifeboat

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T.J.KING lifeboat

Postby shipstamps » Thu Sep 11, 2008 5:22 pm


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One of the high-lights of the visit of the British Queen-mother on Jersey in 1974 was the christening of the last new lifeboat the THOMAS JAMES KING, which we see in action on the Jersey stamp of 20½p.
She was named after skipper Thommy King who was awarded the gold medal of the Royal National Liveboat Institution (RNLI).
She is a 44 foot Waveney class (the class was named after the River Waveney were the first boats of this class were built) lifeboat, which can reach a speed of 15.5 knots with a radius of 200 mile. In all 21 were built for the RNLI in the U.K.
After completing stationed at St Helier, the building cost of £100.000, was almost all donated by the population of Jersey.

The stamp is designed after a painting made by the local painter Gerald Palmer. The painting shows the lifeboat on 03 September 1983 when she came in action to the France yacht CYTHARA.
In a strong west-south-westerly gale, pitch darkness and very high waves, the THOMAS JAMES KING under Coxswain Michael Edward Berry was launched at 03.39 a.m.
Coxswain Berry took her three miles in among rocks of the Clement’s Bay, south-east of St Helier, Jersey, near Demie de Pas light tower, where the French yacht CYTHARA was drifting. With her mainsail and jib still hoisted, the yacht was rolling and pitching heavily.
After taking off two men and a woman, Coxswain Berry manoeuvred his way out of the maze of rocks, striking them twice in the process.
In the background of the stamp you can see the yacht, but have not any info on her.

For this rescue Berry was awarded the silver medal of the RNLI.
The THOMAS JAMES KING was severe damaged during the action and needed repair, and was also overhauled.
She returned to her station early 1984.

The day of issues of this stamp (01 June 1984) the Queen-mother was again on Jersey, and she was part in a service of rededication of the life-boat THOMAS JAMES KING to commemorate the Century of the Jersey branch of the RNLI.

The THOMAS JAMES KING (44-113) was built in 1974 by Groves & Guttridge, Cowes, Isle of Wight.
Displacement 17 ton, dim. 13.62 x 3.84 x 1.19m. (draught)
Powered by two 260 hp. General Electric motors GM8V-53.
Crew 5.

When stationed at St Helier from 03 February 1975 till December 1989, she sailed out for 288 rescue missions, and saved 155 lives. Then used as relief boat on this station till 1993 and sailed out 20 times, and saved 11 lives.

Then stationed at Dunbar, Scotland from 01 August 1993 till January 1996, sailed out for 20 live savings missions, but saved not any live.
From 1996 till 1997 used as relief life boat at Dunbar, but did not sail out for a rescue mission.

She was in 1998 sold to the Montrose Harbour Board at Montrose, Scotland and after the wheelhouse was enclosed and extended in use as a pilot boat under the name NORTHESK at Montrose.

Source: Many web-sites.
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