Arbroath RNLI have been boosted with the news that they are to get a new Shannon lifeboat to replace the existing Mersey class currently in use at the station.
The Shannon is the first modern RNLI all-weather lifeboat to be powered by waterjets instead of propellers, making it faster and more manoeuvrable when reaching casualties.
The first of the new fleet, The Morrell, arrived at Dungeness Lifeboat Station in Kent in February this year. And now Arbroath, too, is set to get its very own high-tech boat, which has an expected 50-year operational life. It is designed to be launched and recovered from a beach via a new faster and safer launch and recovery system.
Designed entirely in-house by a team of RNLI engineers, the RNLI has harnessed cutting-edge technology to ensure this new lifeboat meets the demands of a 21st century rescue service, building on systems developed for its big sister, the Tamar class.
The Shannon will gradually replace the Mersey and Tyne class lifeboats, which are now nearing the end of their operational lives. Once rolled out, the RNLI’s entire all-weather lifeboat fleet will be capable of 25 knots, making the lifesaving service more efficient and effective than ever before.
A delighted Alex Smith, lifeboat operations manager at Arbroath, said: “This is absolutely fantastic, not just for the volunteer crew, but for everyone associated with the lifeboat station here in Arbroath and the wider community as a whole.
“The RNLI recognise that with the increase in commercial and leisure craft operating on our waters there is a genuine need for us to have the all-weather lifeboat and the decision to replace our current Mersey class with a Shannon class means that we have secured this service for many years to come.
“There is a huge amount of commitment by many people at Arbroath lifeboat station, the volunteer crew, ladies guild, lifeboat management group, fund-raisers and most importantly the local community, who give so generously. The list could go on. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continued support and I’m sure the confirmation that a Shannon is to be stationed here in Arbroath is just reward for all that hard work.”
Launch and recovery trials of the Shannon are set to take place at Arbroath later this year.