Exmouth’s new lifeboat undergoing sea trials
11:30 29 January 2014
IT WON’T be long now before Exmouth RNLI takes delivery of its new Shannon-class lifeboat.
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.
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).
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
Other - Self-righting