New lifeboat planning begins

Shannon class lifeboat the Jock and Annie Slater
Shannon class lifeboat the Jock and Annie Slater

Following the recent announcement that a Shannon class lifeboat is to be stationed at Arbroath, delegates from Arbroath RNLI and council members met on May 2 to discuss requirements for accommodating the new lifeboat.

Chairing the meeting was Councillor Bob Spink and he was joined in attendance from the council by representatives from the Parks, Roads and Planning departments.

Representing the RNLI were Alex Smith, lifeboat operations manager at Arbroath, and Lt Col Ian Ballantyne, chairman of the Arbroath lifeboat management group.

The initial discussions were extremely positive.

Alex Smith of the Arbroath Royal National Lifeboat Institution was delighted with how the meeting went: “The facilities we currently have here at Arbroath are not suitable for the Shannon class lifeboat, so while we are delighted with the recent announcement by the RNLI there is a lot of work to be done locally in terms of how best to accommodate it.

“We are therefore extremely grateful that the council and town representatives came together at such short notice to discuss how we can move forward.

“Although we are still at a very early stage, we were very encouraged by the enthusiasm shown by all the council members and we look forward to further positive meetings in the near future.”

Launch and recovery trials of the Shannon class lifeboat are set to take place at Arbroath later this year.

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.