Youngest RNLI Shannon Coxswain-Mechanic brings new lifeboat into Girvan
Scotland’s second Shannon Class lifeboat, Elizabeth and Gertrude Allan (13-23), was welcomed by hundreds of people in Girvan on 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, arrived in Girvan harbour to be greeted by hundreds of local supporters, RNLI volunteers, the RNLI mascot Stormy Stan and, of course, Santa Claus. The Shannon arrived into Girvan at 1323 (1.23pm) exactly, matching the number on the side of the lifeboat. The spectators looked on as Callum and the Shannon’s volunteer crew demonstrated the new lifeboat’s exceptional capabilities. The Shannon’s ability to stop almost instantly and turn within in its own length received rounds of applause and cheers from those on the harbour walls.
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’.
Callum and his volunteer crew will now continue training with the new lifeboat in the waters surrounding Girvan. The crew have already undergone extensive training at the RNLI’s headquarters in Poole and during the passage from Poole to Girvan however, this week will give them the opportunity to familiarise themselves with their boat in local waters.
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 lifeboat station’s volunteer crew and all the station volunteers would like to thank the public for their great show of support on Sunday.
RNLI media contacts
Gemma McDonald, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07826 900639 firstname.lastname@example.org
Henry Weaver, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 07771 943026 email@example.com
RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789
For more information on the RNLI please visit www.rnli.org.uk. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre www.rnli.org.uk/press
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.
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 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.