Today (Tuesday 25 September) the RNLI will reveal its latest and most advanced class of lifeboat that will shape the future of lifesaving for the next 50 years – the Shannon class.
The Shannon is the first modern RNLI all-weather lifeboat to be powered by water jets, not propellers, and capable of 25 knots the Shannon is 50% faster than the lifeboats it replaces – ensuring that those in need are reached even faster.
The charity will need to build over 50 new Shannons within the next ten years to replace the older classes of lifeboat. Once the newly designed Shannon class is rolled out, all RNLI all-weather lifeboats will be capable of 25 knots.
The Shannon class will improve the safety and effectiveness of the charity’s volunteer crews, thanks to its shock absorbing seats and computer monitoring and operating system. The charity estimates that the 50+ Shannons in the class will rescue over 56,000 people and save the lives of over 1,500 in its lifetime. The Shannon class is expected to make up almost a third of the RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat fleet.
Paul Boissier, RNLI Chief Executive says:
‘The Shannon class – the RNLI’s new class of lifeboat – has been carefully developed by our in-house team of naval architects, marine engineers and operators with the safety of the volunteer crews at the very heart of the design. Not only has the Shannon been developed to protect the volunteers as they save lives at sea, but to reach casualties faster and with improved manoeuvrability, when precision really matters. The roll out of the Shannon will complete our charity’s aim of having a fleet capable of at least 25-knots; we will be able to ‘get there faster’ for everyone, no matter where you are around the UK and Ireland.’
The RNLI has launched a £5M fundraising campaign to fund two Shannons and their launch and recovery vehicles for the relief fleet. These ‘relief lifeboats’ will be used to replace station boats when they go for maintenance or repair and will therefore operate at many places around the UK and the RoI.
RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Sabina Eberle, RNLI Public Relations Officer on 01202 663184 / 07836 511 633 or email@example.com
Notes to Editors:
• To date (September 2012) the RNLI can confirm that the following stations will receive a Shannon class lifeboat: Dungeness, Hoylake, Ilfracombe, Llandudno, Lowestoft, Montrose, Scarborough, Skegness, Selsey, St Ives, and Swanage. All other stations are yet to be confirmed.
• The naming of the Shannon class follows in a 45-year tradition of naming the charity’s lifeboats after rivers or stretches of water, but it will be the first time that the name of an Irish river has been used, which reflects the fact that our volunteers save lives at sea around Ireland and the UK.
• Travelling from London by train for the media opportunity? We can collect you from the station at Poole. Depart London Waterloo 07.35 arrive Poole 09.57: www.nationalrail.co.uk
• More information on the new Shannon class lifeboat can be found online: www.rnli.org/newlifeboatappeal
Members of the media are invited to experience onboard demonstrations of the new lifeboat
and its bespoke launch and recovery vehicle. Interviews will be available with Paul Boissier, RNLI Chief Executive; Michael Vlasto RNLI Operations Director; David Brook RNLI Engineering and Supply Director; RNLI naval architects responsible for the new design; and lifeboat crew.
Places on the media day are limited, so book in early to secure a position.
Schedule, 25 September 2012:
The Shannon class lifeboat
10.30am Briefing at The Haven Hotel, Sandbanks, Poole, Dorset BH13 7QL
11am-1pm Onboard demonstrations of the Shannon and its bespoke launch and recovery vehicle, designed by Supacat, at Shell Bay, Studland (cared for by the National Trust). Interview opportunities with RNLI naval engineers and lifeboat crew and senior operational staff.
The Shannon class and the RNLI’s future plans
2-2.30pm Lunch briefing with Paul Boissier, RNLI Chief Executive on the charity’s aim to build its all-weather lifeboats in-house, including the Shannon class – saving the charity £3.7M annually. Q&A with Paul Boissier, Michael Vlasto RNLI Operations Director and David Brook, RNLI Engineering and Supply Director.
2.30-3.30pm RNLI College tour and demonstration. See where the charity’s volunteer lifeboat crews train (includes the lifeboat simulator and Sea Survival Pool).
2.30-5pm Interview opportunities with Paul Boissier, RNLI Chief Executive, Michael Vlasto RNLI Operations Director and David Brook, RNLI Engineering and Supply Director.
Thank you to the National Trust for enabling the event to take place at Shell Bay, a place cared for by the conservation charity.
Film and Image downloads
Footage of the Shannon, the launch and recovery vehicle and interviews with key RNLI staff can be downloaded here:
Images of the Shannon and its launch and recovery vehicle can be downloaded here:
- Prototype Shannon class lifeboat in rough seas during trials 1 2 3
- Prototype Shannon class lifeboat and launch and recovery vehicle during trials 1 2 3 4 5 6
- Equipment protecting the volunteer crews:
- Self righting trial
- Peter Eyre, RNLI Engineer and designer of the Shannon class lifeboat hull 1 2 3
Supacat has been working with the RNLI for 10 years to design and develop the innovative Launch and Recovery System (L&RS) for the Shannon. They are currently building the first two production standard L&RS’s. Supacat is an innovative engineering company specialising in high mobility vehicles. Since its foundation 30 years ago, it has grown into a product developer with a broadening international customer base across the defence, renewables, marine and oil and gas sectors. It has a complete engineering capability spanning design, prototyping, testing and trialling, certification and low rate production. Services include system integration and fleet support, from post design services, repairs, spares, to deployed support on operations (CONDO) and Contractor Logistics Support.
About the National Trust
The National Trust was founded in 1895 to protect threatened coastline, countryside and buildings for the benefit and enjoyment of everyone. Today the charity employs more than 5,500 people and cares for special places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, including 250,000 hectares of countryside, 710 miles of coastline and 300 historic houses and gardens. The National Trust cares for Studland Beach (inculding Shell Bay) which is a glorious slice of natural coastline in Purbeck featuring a four-mile stretch of golden, sandy beach, with gently shelving bathing waters and views of Old Harry Rocks and the Isle of Wight.