High and Dry: The Danial Thane

High and Dry – the 'Danial Thane' at the Albatross Marina
High and Dry – the ‘Danial Thane’ at the Albatross Marina


If the name ‘Spirit of Tayside’ doesn’t mean anything to you, it certainly did to the people of the UK for some 20 years.

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This purpose built lifeboat was one of 47 ‘Arum’ class vessels which were commissioned by the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution).

Operating since 1824, the service currently has 237 stations and 444 rescue craft.

During the 193 years it has been operational, the institution has saved an unbelievable 140,000 lives.

The vessel was transported as deck cargo to Australia in 1999 and renamed ‘Danial Thane’ after the grandson of the benefactor who donated it to the Port Stephens Coast Guard (now Marine Rescue).

It joins a long list of famous boats and mariners to berth at the marina in Lemon Tree Passage.

Most notable was David Lewis whose epic attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica in his steel yacht ‘Icebird ‘ rates as one of the greatest sea voyages of all time.

On top of this, the ‘Winston Churchill’ was slipped here.

It foundered during the ill fated Sydney/Hobart race of 1998 with the loss of three lives.

The ‘Bintang Siang,’ a 1942 WWII Brisbane built Macassan Prau left the marina only to end its days on a beach on the far north coast.

It had been used by Australia’s ‘Z’ force on secret missions to infiltrate Japanese held waters.

The now decommissioned ‘Danial Thane’ has been slipped at the Albatross Marina for some water blasting and a pre-sales inspection.




An 'Arum' class vessel in the UK during its heyday.
An ‘Arum’ class vessel in the UK during its heyday.

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