Published: 13:40, 28 July 2021
| Updated: 19:13, 01 August 2021
A new era is about to begin at the SheernessRNLI lifeboat station.
At noon on Friday crews will officially switch from the Trent class George and Ivy Swanson to the new Shannon all-weather lifeboat Judith Copping Joyce.
The new £2.2m vessel arrived on station in April and will be under the full-time command of Paul ‘PJ’ Jarvis who is stepping into the shoes of coxswain and mechanic Robin Castle who is retiring after 40 years.
Mr Castle has been in charge of the George and Ivy since she arrived at Sheppey in1995 and became operational in early 1996. His last voyage with her will be on Sunday when he takes her to Poole in Dorset where she is expected to become part of the RNLI's training fleet.
During his career, he has been on 692 call-outs and helped save the lives of more than 1,000 people.
Past and present crew will gather at Queenborough harbour's all-tide landing this evening (Wednesday) at 6.30pm or a photo shoot.
Members of the public can say a final farewell to the George and Ivy on Sunday when Robin will take her to Queenborough Harbour for one last time at 10.30am before setting sail for Poole.
PJ and the other four senior crew members who will operate the new lifeboat have notched up 120 years of service to the RNLI between them.
All volunteer crew have now completed training on the ultra hi-tec Shannon which can be controlled remotely from any of its seats.