Official naming ceremony of the new Montrose lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

Montrose’s revolutionary new jet-powered Shannon class all-weather lifeboat has been officially named and accepted into the care of Montrose Lifeboat Station at a ceremony today (21 May 2016).

The RNLB Ian Grant Smith is the first Shannon class lifeboat the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has put on service in Scotland and the charity is delighted to announce that she has now been formally named and accepted into the care of Montrose Lifeboat Station.

Established in 1800, Montrose Lifeboat Station pre-dates the RNLI, now Montrose is the first lifeboat station in Scotland to become home to the very latest and most advanced lifeboat the RNLI has ever had in service.

The official naming ceremony took place today (21 May 2016), exactly nine months after the revolutionary new lifeboat arrived in Montrose on 21 August 2016.

During the ceremony RNLI Deputy Chairman Sir Andrew Cubie said ‘We are immensely grateful for the generous donation of this lifeboat by Ruth Grant Smith. It is always a privilege receive such an outstanding donation on behalf of the RNLI.’

‘It is with enormous pleasure that I am able to transfer the boat to the care of Montrose Lifeboat Station.’

Montrose Lifeboat Coxswain Scott Murray commented ‘We’re very pleased to be formally naming her today. She arrived here in Montrose nine months ago and for a while we had both the new lifeboat and the old Tyne class Moonbeam on station while the crew got up the speed with the Shannon class.’

‘We were sad to see the old lifeboat go, she served us well for 26 years, but this new lifeboat is a real leap forward in technology and will allow us to keep doing what we do here for at least the next 25 years.’

Paul Jennings, RNLI Divisional Operations Manager said ‘It’s fantastic to have the first Shannon class lifeboat in Scotland officially named here in Montrose today.

‘The jet propulsion, manoeuvrability, low draught, speed and technology in the new lifeboat make it ideal for operations in the Esk Estuary.’

The Shannon class is the first of the RNLI’s all-weather lifeboats to be powered by water-jets rather than traditional propellers, making it the most agile and manoeuvrable lifeboat in the charity’s fleet.

Ray Wilkie, Lifeboat Operations Manager said ‘The Ian Grant Smith is a very different and far more advanced lifeboat compared to the Tyne class Moonbeam she replaces.

‘Over the past nine months the crew have had to put in many hours of additional training to get up to speed with the new lifeboat and I’m really pleased with the commitment they have shown and the time they have devoted to make this transition as smooth as it has been.’

The cost of the lifeboat was generously bequeathed to the RNLI by Ruth Grant Smith who died in 2005 and had left money to the RNLI to fund an all-weather lifeboat which was to be named after her husband Ian Grant Smith.

Mrs Smith had requested that the money be spent on a lifeboat which would be based in Scotland.

Ruth was the eldest of four sisters and lived in the family home in Northwich, Cheshire, in the 1930s. While she was at college in London, the opportunity arose to go on a cruise. Also on that cruise was a lawyer from Edinburgh, Ian Grant Smith. Over the voyage the two met, and it was not long before they were wed and living in Edinburgh, where they stayed until Ian retired.

During retirement, they moved back to Ian’s childhood town of Cromdale and lived a simple life – holidays at the Kyle of Lochalsh, fishing, hunting and walking their dogs. Jock and Rory, their two Cocker Spaniels, are still fondly remembered by all that met them.

Every year, the highlight of their social calendar was New Year’s Eve – the day of their annual party in aid of the RNLI, a charity they supported through their long and devoted marriage.

The funding of this Shannon class lifeboat, which has been provided by the most generous bequest of Mrs Grant Smith, is a fitting tribute to Ian and Ruth, and to their lifelong support of the RNLI.

Capable of 25 knots, the Shannon class is 50% faster than the Tyne she replaces. Able to cope with all weathers, she is inherently self-righting in the event of a capsize.

The Shannon incorporates the very latest computer technology and is equipped with SIMS (systems and information management system), which allows crew members to monitor and operate many of the boat’s functions from the safety of their seats.

Designed in-house by RNLI naval architects, the Shannon class lifeboat was introduced to the RNLI’s fleet in 2013.

Shannon class lifeboat specifications:

Crew: 6

Survivor capacity: 23 (self-righting)
79 (non self-righting)

Length: 13.6m

Beam: 4.5m

Max speed: 25 knots

Range: 250 nautical miles

Displacement: 18 tonnes (maximum)

Construction: composite materials,
with carbon fibre in areas
with high load

Endurance: 10 hours at 25 knots

Engines: two Scania D13 650hp
engines with twin Hamilton
HJ364 waterjets

RNLI media contacts

Henry Weaver, RNLI Press Officer for Scotland, 01738 642986, 07771 943026,

Richard Smith, RNLI Public Relations Manager for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07786 668903,

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.