Caister Lifeboat - 40 Years of Independence!
Caister Lifeboat

The Fred Dyble


By Derek George

The standard of Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal flew above the old boatshed for over an hour on Tuesday the (30th April) to mark the visit by her Royal Highness Princess Anne to name Caister’s new inshore lifeboat. Her visit is the seventh by Royalty since the station became independent of the RNLI in 1969

Preparations for the visit have been in hand for some time and the name of the  boat kept a closely guarded secret. Over 180 invitations were sent out to local dignitaries, supporters and members.

The lifeboat team were particularly pleased to welcome representatives from the RNLI stations at Wells, Sheringham, Cromer, Happisburgh, Great Yarmouth/Gorleston and Lowestoft together with representatives from the independent lifeboat stations at Mundesly, Sea Palling, and Hemsby. Although the Yarmouth Coastguard Station is now closed it was well represented together with members of the National Coastwatch Institution who are now resident in the old lookout at the Caister Lifeboat station.

Her Royal Highness shook hands and spoke to everybody in the line-up plus the Senior and Junior crews. The Dean of Norwich Cathedral led the dedication service assisted by the Rector, Tim Thompson and the Methodist minister Rev Fielding. Several local clergy were among the guests.

The new inshore lifeboat ‘Fred Dyble’ is heavier and longer than her predecessors and requires a more powerful tractor and a new launching trailer. The 90 horse power tractor was delivered just a couple of days before the ceremony. The new launching trailer allows the lifeboat engine to run whilst on the carriage which in turn allows the lifeboat to be powered out of the launching carriage without any body having to get into the water to release her as was the case with the previous boats. This feature has reduced launching by several minutes.

The complete servicing package,( lifeboat, carriage and tractor) cost some £90,000 which was met in the main from the legacy of Mrs Crowther of Scratby. The keys to the lifeboat were presented to Alex Low, the helmsman of the inshore lifeboat by Mr and Mrs Oliver who were representing Mrs Crowther. It was Mrs Crowther’s wish that a Caister Lifeboat should be named ‘Fred Dyble

From time to time the station receives legacies and donations with a specific expression of wish. One such legacy was that of Mrs Hillyer of Fairway, Caister whose wish was for her legacy to be spent on the all-weather lifeboat. The team used the legacy to have a state of the art plotting table fitted to the all-weather boat whilst it was in for half-life refit. Similarly Messrs Vesta wished to make a donation and this resulted in a superb pair of binoculars being presented to the coxswain Paul Williams.

Although the sun shone on the day the North-East wind was distinctly chilly and took the shine off the day (forgive the pun) but hopefully the superb traditional afternoon tea that followed made up for the discomfort.


new lifeboat namimg 2

Naming the new lifeboat , the Fred Dyble, by HRH Princess Anne on the 30th April 2013

New Lifeboat namimng 1

new lifeboat namimg 2

Bob on tractor preparing to launch


 All aboard with the Young Crew

S H 1


S H 3

 S H 4

Full Sea Trials of our new boat began with crew training at Caister Friday July 6th

Sea trial


New boat 3


New boat 4

New boat 5

May 2012 

New Boat 1


New boat 2


The Ribcraft is 5.0m long and is built to an upgraded Commercial Specification, designed to operate safely in up to 2 metre height waves .

It is constructed to MCA Cat 3 work code standard as well as having reinforced fendering  tubes, an Anti-slip self draining deck and a powerful 60hp Bigfoot Mariner engine.

It has post immersion restart Speed during trails (2 crew and full fuel tank) of 30knts.

The 12 Gallon (55 Litre) enclosed fuel system  provides for 3 hours running at full speed with a crew of two or three.

Equipment includes; an A-frame with self righting system; Radar reflector; Plotter with built in AIS receiver, towing points on transom, Watertight storage, Hydraulic steering system with emergency back up, Solas approved MCA cat 3, first aid kit, Integrated communication system including helmets with built-in communications.
The new bespoke launching trailer with pre-start system, for engine to be run before entering the sea. The ILB is driven directly out of the trailer which reduces launching time.
Earlier in the year we tested a version of our new launch trailer with the Sea Palling Inshore lifeboat crew.


Jim d 2 



Jim D 1

 Our New Inshore Lifeboat Shed located to the North of our existing Shed gives access directly to the beach without interfering with the Launching of the Offshore boat. The shed includes a comprehensive workshop area and facilities for storing wetsuits and radio helmets.completed 2014.


new shed 2014


This sequence of pictures show the profiles of the new boat in more detail

Inshore Lifeboat 1

Inshore Lifeboat 3


Inshore Lifeboat 2Inshore Lifeboat 4

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The Lifeboat Station, Tan lane, Caister-on-Sea, Norfolk NR30 5DJ