Underwater Anode Installation at the RNLI College Poole

As the national training center for the Royal National Lifeboat Institutions lifeboat crews from around the UK and Republic of Ireland, the RNLI College Poole saw 1263 lifeboat crew and 604 lifeguards attend one or more of over forty operational training courses during 2012. In addition to this the facilities are used for commercial maritime search and rescue (SAR) training for clients from around the world, as well as development of many more RNLI volunteers and staff every year. It has provided world class training courses and facilities since it was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004.

RNLI College Poole
Part of the water facing fronts of the RNLI College to have anodes installed

Situated on the South coast overlooking Poole Harbor, the College backs onto the waterfront where it has a number of slipways and birthing points for the launching and recovery of lifeboats. These structures will be facing more use as construction of the new RNLI Coventina lifeboat production facility alongside the College is finished. To help protect the submerged metal structures in the sea water galvanic anodes are installed.


These sacrificial anodes are made from a more reactive (greater negative potential) metal than the surrounding structure, often zinc and aluminium, meaning that the high level of corrosion caused by the salt water is focused on these anodes instead of the surrounding metal.

Anodes and Trailer
Some of the anodes ready to be installed with the CSD team preparing the dive trailer

CSD were contracted, by Bam Nuttall in December last year, to install over 100 anodes to a newly constructed sheet pile wall around the new Coventina building and to install a similar quantity on the existing sheet pile walls of the RNLI College. This involved preparation of the walls, by the localised removal of marine growth and surface corrosion, before underwater welding to attach new anodes across the water front at the College. The works were completed to Bam Nuttalls satisfaction on time and within budget, even with the winter weather and low visibility.