The lifeboat station now occupies the site of the Old Custom House located at the entrance of the river Medina. The previous life boat station was located at a pontoon berth at a marina further up the river Medina. This had inadequate facilities for boat maintenance and the crew and due to its location added critical minutes to the crews’ response times. The refurbishment of the lifeboat station was funded in part by a £1 million public appeal for RNLI funds.
Ramboll, assisted by Studio Four architects, were lead consultant and provided multidisciplinary engineering services for the £1 million project. The brief required the existing building to be transformed to become a modern lifeboat station containing a boathouse, training and crew changing facilities. A new slipway was required to enable launch and recovery of the Atlantic 85 lifeboat at all states of the tide. Construction of the new lifeboat station, which has been operational since early June this year, began in autumn 2011.
The design and construction phase of the project was very challenging due to the numerous constraints at the site. The entrance to the river Medina is environmentally sensitive and is designated a Special Area of Concern. The building is also situated within a conservation area and is adjacent to listed properties. To address these issues a suite of environmental studies were carried out by Ramboll to support the planning and marine licence applications that were gained before the works commenced. It was also necessary to maintain an access across the RNLI site to the neighbouring Island Sailing Club throughout construction and operation of the station.