Exmouth's new lifeboat makes a grand entrance

PUBLISHED: 17:35 24 April 2008 | UPDATED: 09:00 10 June 2010

EXMOUTH'S new Mersey class lifeboat Margaret Jean made a grand entrance when it arrived on Wednesday afternoon flanked by existing Trent lifeboat Forward Birmingham and inshore lifeboat the George Bearman.

EXMOUTH'S new Mersey class lifeboat Margaret Jean made a grand entrance when it arrived on Wednesday afternoon flanked by existing Trent lifeboat Forward Birmingham and inshore lifeboat the George Bearman.

The trio of rescue vehicles were an impressive sight as they cut through the water off Exmouth beach before the new vessel was moored off the docks.

The Mersey-class boat will enable the crew to provide 24-hour cover because the new vessel is more equipped to cope with the changing river bed in comparison to the current boat which is tidally restricted.

Exmouth lifeboat operations manager Kevin Riley said the need for a Mersey was 'paramount' because launching the existing Trent class lifeboat at low tide was increasingly difficult because the main buoyed channel in and out of Exmouth harbour was closing off dramatically.

"This new lifeboat needs less water to operate and is built to take the bottom, so it will allow us to put to sea on low tides with less chance of damaging the hull of the vessel," said Mr Riley.

The Margaret Jean is a relief vessel which will serve Exmouth until the new £1.6million state-of-the-art seafront boathouse is completed in 2009 - when the town will be given its permanent boat.

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