Jim Davidson ILB
The first ILB was placed on station in 1970 and was purchased with monies raised by the pupils of Caister Secondary School.
In 1991 Jim Davidson accompanied the crew to the Earls Court Boat Show and purchased a 4.5 Metre semi-rigid inflatable for the station. This vessel has made many rescues in the period it has been on station. The vessel was named after Jim, and made its first appearance in the area on the set of 'This is your life' when Skipper Woodhouse was the subject and Jim had helped in organising the programme.
With the maze of sandbanks directly offshore and the close proximity of a large number of holiday centres to the lifeboat station, much of the work of the inshore lifeboat is generated by swimmers and people on inflatables who get into trouble through the strong current and the offshore winds. The work of the station is assisted by the provision of a lookout situated at the front of the lifeboat station where the crew have spotted many a person in difficulty and in cooperation with HM Yarmouth Coastguard have helped to save lives.
The Jim Davidson Inshore Lifeboat has been launched 81 times and saved 37 lives since being placed on service 10 years ago.
21 Aug 1995
"At about 11.40 the coastguard paged the crew and requested the ILB to launch. A dinghy was in trouble off Brandford Road. The ILB was launched with Tom Frost and Nigel Trett as crew. In a moderate NE wind and grand swell the ILB proceeded north; on arrival at the scene the crew found the dinghy capsized, with the sea breaking heavily on the outer sandbank. One woman was in the dinghy and two men were in the water.
The ILB went into the surf and first rescued the men, one of whom Nigel Trett pulled from under the water by his chin. Then the woman was rescued. The casualties were wrapped in blankets and the lifeboat radioed the coastguard for an ambulance.
The ILB was beached at Braddock Road because of the heavy swell, with the survivors. One collapsed on the beach and was resuscitated by the crew, all were suffering from hyperthermia and shock and were taken to hospital by the ambulance.
A few days later the survivors visited the lifeboat station to thank the crew, without giving any notice. By coincidence Jim Davidson was making a visit at the same time and the survivors were able to meet him."
Aug 17 1998
"Shortly after 1.00 p.m. a dinghy was seen drifting out to sea, directly off the lifeboat station, with two young boys onboard. They had lost their paddles. A man attempted to swim to them, but then gave up. As the ILB Jim Davidson was being launched, the two boys were seen to jump out of the dinghy. The ILB picked up the two boys, one of whom was almost totally exhausted when rescued."
The new ILB which was named on Sunday 9th September 2001 was purchased with money largely raised by Jim at his charity show at the Wellington Pier, at the end of the 2000 summer season.