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Aldeburgh RNLI lifeboat crew’s delight at Shannon lifeboat allocation news

Lifeboats News Release

Aldeburgh RNLI lifeboat station’s lifeboat crew were delighted to receive the news that they’ve been allocated a new Shannon class all-weather lifeboat to replace the station’s current Mersey class lifeboat.

The announcement that the station can expect to receive the new boat in 2021 was made during a routine review of coastal operations held at the station last week. The state-of-the-art Shannon class all-weather lifeboat will replace Freddie Cooper, which first came to the station in 1993.

The Shannon class lifeboat is the newest in the RNLI’s all-weather fleet and is the first to be powered by water jets rather than traditional propellers. It is the most agile and manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat yet and has been designed entirely in-house by a team of RNLI engineers who have harnessed the latest cutting-edge technology to ensure the lifeboat meets the demands of a 21st century rescue.

Steven Saint, Coxswain at Aldeburgh RNLI lifeboat station, said: ‘We are all thrilled to hear the exciting news that we will be receiving a Shannon class lifeboat. With a top speed of 25 knots, the Shannon is 50 per cent faster than the Mersey we currently have on station which will help us get to casualties quicker  when we get called out.

‘The Shannon will come with a custom built carriage and launch system which will enable us to launch quickly to those in peril at sea.’

Across the RNLI, the Shannon lifeboat will gradually replace the Mersey and the Tyne class lifeboats which are nearing the end of their operational lives.

More specific details about the new addition to the Aldeburgh station will follow at a later date.
To find out more about the Shannon class lifeboat please visit

Notes to editors

• The Shannon class lifeboat is built of fibre-reinforced plastic
• She is 13m in length (overall) with a beam of 4.5m and displacement of 18 tonnes (maximum).
• The lifeboat is powered by twin Scania D13 13-litre diesel engines each developing 650hp driving, two Hamilton HJ364 waterjets providing a top speed of 25 knots and a range of 250 nautical miles.
• The lifeboat is self-righting with a normal crew of six and can accommodate 17 survivors (with self-righting capability) or 79 survivors (non self-righting).
• An integrated electronic Systems and Information Management System (SIMS) offers the crew the ability to monitor, operate and control many of the boat’s systems directly from the safety of their seats.

RNLI media contacts

• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252
• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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