Youngest RNLI Shannon Coxswain-Mechanic takes charge of Girvan's Shannon

Lifeboats News Release

Scotland’s second Shannon Class lifeboat, Elizabeth and Gertrude Allan (13-23), will arrive in Girvan this Sunday, with Callum Govus (25) at the helm.

The first modern all-weather lifeboat to be propelled by water jets, which costs £2.1m to build, will arrive in Girvan on Sunday 10th December to be greeted by crowds of local RNLI supporters and, of course, Santa Claus.

Callum, Girvan Lifeboat Station’s full-time Coxswain-Mechanic, joined the RNLI as a volunteer eight years ago, the day after his 17th birthday (the minimum age for RNLI volunteers). Callum was inspired to join by his teacher and mentor, Davie Butcher, who was Girvan’s second coxswain and who, sadly, passed away just before Callum joined the crew. Callum is now one of RNLI’s very few full-time lifeboat crew.

Speaking about the influence that Davie had on his life and his pride at bringing home Girvan’s new lifeboat, Callum said: ‘Davie was more than just a role model. There is no way I’d have this amazing honour if it wasn’t for him. I owe him everything and I’ll definitely be thinking of him when I bring the Shannon into harbour, hopefully in front of Davie’s family’.

The Shannon class lifeboat is the RNLI’s latest and most advanced all-weather lifeboat and the first to be propelled by waterjets instead of traditional propellers. The lifeboat’s water-jets allow the vessel to operate in shallow waters and be intentionally beached as well as to manoeuvre precisely in hazardous conditions such as when operating alongside a stricken vessel.

Capable of 25 knots, the new lifeboat is 50% faster than RNLB Silvia Burrell, the Mersey class all-weather lifeboat she will replace. Silvia Burrell has been the Girvan lifeboat for the past 24 years but has now come to the end of her operational life.

Girvan’s new lifeboat Elizabeth and Gertrude Allan (13-23) will arrive into the harbour at 1323 exactly (1.23pm), in order to reflect her official side number, on Sunday 10th December. She will be greeted by a UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopter and another very special guest, Santa Claus. Local residents are invited to come and welcome their new lifeboat and to enjoy the food, drink and crafts that will be on offer from 12pm midday.

RNLI media contacts

Gemma McDonald, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07826 900639 gemma_mcdonald@rnli.org.uk

Henry Weaver, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 07771 943026 henry_weaver@rnli.org.uk

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

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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 230 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 100 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. 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 137,000 lives. The RNLI is a charity registered in England, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.

Girvan's new Shannon class lifeboat and her crew depart Poole

RNLI/Nathan Williams

Girvan's new Shannon class lifeboat and her crew depart Poole on Wed 5th Dec

RNLI/Nathan Williams

Girvan's new Shannon class lifeboat is prepared for passage from Poole to Girvan
Callum Govus on board Girvan's existing lifeboat

RNLI/Callum Govus

Callum Govus on board Girvan's existing lifeboat

RNLI/Nathan Williams

Girvan's Shannon departs Poole's iconic harbour for passage to Girvan

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 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland