Exmouth’s new lifeboat undergoing sea trials

11:30 29 January 2014

The new Shannon-class Exmouth lifeboat pictured afloat at Lymington, ready for her sea trials. Photo by Guy Munnings. Ref exe exmth shannon2

The new Shannon-class Exmouth lifeboat pictured afloat at Lymington, ready for her sea trials. Photo by Guy Munnings. Ref exe exmth shannon2

Archant

IT WON’T be long now before Exmouth RNLI takes delivery of its new Shannon-class lifeboat.

Showing the stern (back) of the boat. Here you can clearly see the water jets and buckets which redirect water. The water jets allow the boat to work in a minimum of 2ft 6in shallow water. The white painted area at the bottom of the boat indicates the water line. Photo by Guy Munnings. Ref exe exmth shannon1Showing the stern (back) of the boat. Here you can clearly see the water jets and buckets which redirect water. The water jets allow the boat to work in a minimum of 2ft 6in shallow water. The white painted area at the bottom of the boat indicates the water line. Photo by Guy Munnings. Ref exe exmth shannon1

The new vessel – which cost £1.5m and has been part-funded by the local community – is just finishing its sea trials.

It’s taken just over a year to build the boat at Berthon, Lymington, Hampshire.

And, as our photos show, the vessel is of a radical design.

It’s the first RNLI all-weather lifeboat to be powered by water jets, not propellers, and is capable of 25 knots.

There is a deep 'V' section at the front of the boat, allowing better sea keeping and smoother movement through rough conditions. Ref exe rnli1There is a deep 'V' section at the front of the boat, allowing better sea keeping and smoother movement through rough conditions. Ref exe rnli1

The vessel is 50 per cent faster than the lifeboat it replaces – ensuring that those in need are reached even more quickly.

The water jets also gives the boat increased manoeuvrability, enabling it to operate in shallow waters.

The Shannon will improve the safety and welfare of the charity’s volunteer crews, thanks to its shock-absorbing seats and computer monitoring and operating system.

It’s the second Shannon-class lifeboat to be delivered to an RNLI station in the UK and replaces Exmouth RNLI’s ageing Mersey-class vessel.

It comes with a state-of-the-art launch-and-recovery vehicle (L and RV), designed in conjunction with Supacat Ltd.

The L and RV enables the Shannon-class to be operated in many different beach and sea conditions and allows a faster launch and recovery time.

On average it will take 10 minutes to launch the Shannon-class, compared to 25 minutes for the Mersey-class.

This means faster turnrounds and the ability to respond quickly to another call out.

Many thanks to Exmouth RNLI for its help in putting together this feature. More photos in this week’s Exmouth Journal (January 23, 2014).

Shannon-class specification

Length – 13.7m; Breadth – 4.5m;

Draught – 1.0m; Weight – 18.0 tonnes (as built)

Crew – Five plus one doctor

Material – Advanced glass and carbon composite

Endurance – 10 hours @ 25 knots

Speed – 25 knots

Power – 2 x 650hp Scania DI13M turbo diesels

Propulsion – 2 x Hamilton HJ364 waterjets

Fuel – 2,400 litres diesel

Range – 100 miles offshore

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