Without a Tractor Driver the lifeboat cannot launch, and so their role is essential. Prior to launch, the Tractor Driver is a critical part of the launch authorisation process, along with the Launch Authority and the Helm. Once launch is agreed, the Tractor Driver takes the rig along the seafront and down to the waters edge, where the trailer is reversed into the sea until water depth allows the boat to float and exit the trailer. During rough weather, the timing and direction of the Tractor Driver’s entry to the sea are critical to achieve a safe launch.
Once the boat is at sea the driver and other shore crew rig the recovery net on the trailer, re-entering the water on the boat’s return to allow it to be driven into the trailer. It’s then back up the beach and to the boathouse for refueling, extensive wash down and numerous checks ready for the next launch.
|Brian Taylor Boathouse Manager||Joined Sidmouth Lifeboat’s shore crew in October 2014. Previously a deep sea Marine Engineer and a retired Police SGT I can appreciate what an asset the Lifeboat is to the local community and to sea farers in particular. It is hoped that my experience and life skills will be a further asset to this young and enthusiastic volunteer crew!|