The lifeboat

Lerwick's Severn class lifeboat Michael and Jane VernonPhoto: Williams Spence
Lerwick's Severn class lifeboat Michael and Jane Vernon

Severn Class 17-10 built 1996

Michael and Jane Vernon

Funded by a gift from Mr J. Young and the Lerwick Lifeboat Appeal and named after the RNLI;s Chairman from 1989 to 1996 and his wife.

Length: 17m (55ft 9in) Beam: 5.5m (18ft)

Displacement: 37.5 tonnes Speed: 25 knots

Construction: Fibre Reinforced Composite

Range: 250 miles Crew: Six

Powered by two Caterpillar turbocharged diesels, each producing approximately 1,200bhp.

Class introduced: 1995

… and her crew

Coxswain Hewitt Clark

Pilot Boat skipper. Joined the crew in 1965 and Coxswain Mechanic since 1979. Hewitt is currently the RNLI’s most decorated lifeboatman with one Gold, one Silver and three Bronze Medals, and four Thanks on Vellum.

Second Coxswain Richard Simpson

Fish wholesaler. Joined the crew in 1983 and Second Coxswain since June 1997. Previous gallantry awards: one Bronze Medal and two Thanks on Vellum.

Emergency Mechanic Peter Thomson

Oil Depot Manager. Joined the crew in 1983, previously joint Second Coxswain/Assistant Mechanic for nine years. Previous gallantry awards: one Bronze Medal and two Thanks on Vellum.

Emergency Mechanic Brian Laurenson

Marine Engineer and Fisherman. Joined the crew in 1987. Previous gallantry awards: one Bronze Medal.

Crew member Ian Leask

Driver. Joined the crew in 1989. Previous gallantry awards: one Bronze Medal.

Crew member Michael Grant

Butcher. Joined the crew in 1995. Previous gallantry awards: one Bronze Medal.

Lerwick lifeboat crew with their medals
Lerwick lifeboat crew with their medals

The helicopter crew

Joint Thanks on Vellum:

Captain Norman Leask*

Based at Sumburgh, 13 years with Bristows and 22 years of SAR experience.

Co-Pilot David Gribben

Senior First Officer, based at Sumburgh. Seven years with Bristows.

Winch Operator Paul Mansell

Aircrewman, based at Sumburgh, 10 years with Bristows.

Thanks on Vellum:

(posthumous)

Winchman Bill Deacon

Aircrewman, based at Aberdeen, 10 years with Bristows and 27 year SAR experience.

Bristow Helicopters are contracted to operate the SAR Coastguard services out of Sumburgh, Stornaway, Portland and Lee-on-Solent by the Coastguard Agency.

*Captain Norman Leask is not related to lifeboat crew member Ian Leask