The new 7.3m RIB, Spirit of Dawn, arrived at Station 20, Shelly Beach, yesterday.
The level of excitement in the Sonny Evans Small Craft Harbour that houses the station was so high it was difficult to determine who was more excited, the crew who will use her or the local community she will serve. The owner of a local fishing charter was heard to say that the local dive, fishing and fun charters would sleep easier knowing that “this formidable rescue boat is here to help us when we get into trouble”.
“We are grateful that she is here and that the transfer of the boat from the low-bed to her launch trailer went off without a hitch,” said Acting Station Commander, Pieter Coetzee.
Spirit of Dawn entered the parking area just after 08h00 with the crane arriving at about 08h30. Pieter Coetzee, assisted by Coxswain Jeremiah Jackson and some of the crew, managed the process to unload the boat and swing her onto a road trailer. A local rigger, Hennie Forbes, donated his time and expertise to make sure that all went off without complications.
The Station 32 7.3m RIB, Wild Coast Sun Rescuer, based at Port Edward was then loaded onto the low-bed for transport to Cape Town for a refit. This, too, went off without a hitch.
Spirit of Dawn was then taken off the road trailer and put on the beach – her first taste of the area she will serve. She was then loaded onto her launch trailer and taken to the ramp in front of the base.
There was much Oohing and Aahing from the crew and the locals alike as the plastic protective wrapping came off.
The process was completed at about 13h30 – Spirit of Dawn was home.
“It is difficult to describe our feelings at this moment. Suffice it to say that we are overwhelmingly grateful to the donors and the folk at Head Office who made this possible. I am also grateful to the Station 20 crew members who worked so hard and meticulously to ensure that this day went so well, not to mention all the support we received from the locals and the holiday-makers who are down here for Africa Bike Week”, Pieter Coetzee said.
Spirit of Dawn will be blessed on Saturday 10 May 2014.