Type: R.N.L.I. Lifeboat
Length: 35ft 6ins
Beam: 10ft 3ins
Draft: 2ft 3.5ins
Displacement: 6 tons
Engine: 35hp Weyburn petrol
Builder: Groves & Gutteridge, IoW
Aldeburgh lifeboat, Lucy Lavers, had only just arrived from Groves and Gutteridge on the Isle of Wight where she was built, when she was called to service at Dunkirk. Her exceptionally shallow draft of around 2ft. made her particularly suitable and she took her place alongside the other eighteen lifeboats which were at Dunkirk.
Lucy Lavers was the Aldeburgh number two lifeboat for nineteen years and during this time she was called out on thirty occasions and credited with saving seven lives before she joined the relief fleet. During this period, she went out fifty-two times and saved thirty seven souls.
In 1968 she retired from the RNLI. and became a pilot boat in the Channel Island port of St. Helier, Jersey.
Subsequently she was a private fishing boat and in 1986, now called L'Esperance, she was bought by the Dive and Ski Club of St. Helier where Mike Gibson cared for her. During the tourist season, she provided around four-hundred trainees with practical experience on a training course from the bays of St. Aubin, St. Brelade and Portelet as well as the Island of Sark.
In 1997 she was retired and largely stripped for the restoration of another lifeboat, but the hull, which is in good condition, was transferred to the Dunkirk Little Ships Restoration Trust. The Trust arranged to transport her to Simon Evans boat yard at Sens in France where she has been well looked after. She was then transferred to the Trusts new site at Marchwood, Southampton for restoration.
Fri, 18/05/2012 - 16:13
Lucy Lavers was passed to the charity Rescue Wooden Boats in 2010 at the Hewitt Boatyard in Stiffkey North Norfolk. Rescue Wooden Boats are planning to restore her in time for a return by sea for the Dunkirk re-union in 2015. See www.rescuewoodenboats.com for contact information. Wendy Pritchard, Trustee Rescue Wooden Boats