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Skegness RNLI volunteers set to welcome their state-of-the-art new lifeboat

Lifeboats Media Invite

Skegness RNLI volunteers are preparing for a new era of lifesaving with the eagerly anticipated arrival of their Shannon class all-weather lifeboat on Saturday 28 January.

Skegness RNLI's new Shannon class lifeboat

Nick Edwards

Skegness RNLI's new Shannon class lifeboat

The £2.2M state-of-the-art lifeboat, named Joel and April Grunnill, will arrive by sea at 1.17pm – or 13.17 hours which is the operational number of the new lifeboat. This follows a four day journey from the lifeboat charity’s headquarters in Poole, Dorset, which gives the Skegness RNLI crew on board time to familiarise themselves with the vessel.

The Shannon is the first modern RNLI all-weather lifeboat to be propelled by water jets instead of propellers. Designed by an in-house RNLI team, it is the most agile all-weather lifeboat in the charity’s fleet and has been developed with the safety and welfare of RNLI volunteer crews as a key priority.

The Shannon replaces the station’s current RNLI Mersey class lifeboat, Lincolnshire Poacher, which has operated at Skegness since 1990. In that time, the lifeboat has carried out 352 rescues, saving 195 people.

Alan Fisher, Skegness RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, said everyone at the station has been looking forward to the vessel’s arrival for months.

He added: ‘While we will miss the Lincolnshire Poacher, which has served our station incredibly well for 27 years, the arrival of our new lifeboat will bring about a new era of lifesaving for Skegness RNLI. The Shannon is capable of speeds of 25 knots, almost 50 per cent faster than our current lifeboat, and is more manoeuvrable. That means our crew will reach casualties more quickly and effectively, increasing the chance of saving their lives.’

The new lifeboat has been funded by a generous donation left to the charity by local RNLI box secretary April Grunnill, following a legacy left behind former crew and station chairman, Joel Grunnill who sadly passed away in 2014.

Both April and Joel have been lifelong supporters on the RNLI, April continues to support the charity locally by collecting and counting the money from RNLI collection boxes from local businesses. April requested the RNLI use her gift to provide a lifeboat in memory of her cousin Joel, the vessel is named in their honour.

Crew members have already undergone specialist training to prepare for the new lifeboat. Volunteer mechanics from the station recently underwent some intensive training at the institution’s headquarters to prepare for the new equipment found on the Shannon. Following her arrival at Skegness, there will be a further period of intensive training before the lifeboat is put on service and the Mersey withdrawn.

Mick Abbott, Skegness RNLI station Chairman RNL, said: ‘The volunteer crew at Skegness have already shown a huge amount of dedication, spending time away from their families and in some cases taking holiday from work in order to fulfil the training requirements that come with a new all-weather lifeboat. Their commitment and hard work mean the transition to this new generation of lifeboat will be as smooth as possible and I know they are all very much looking forward to the enhanced lifesaving capability the Shannon will bring to the Lincolnshire coast.’

RNLI Picture captions

1. Skegness RNLI's new all-weather lifeboat, Joel and April Grunnill. Credit RNLI/Nick Edwards.

2. Mechanics get to grips with new equipment at Poole. Credit RNLI/Matt Jackson.

Shannon class lifeboat - key facts

  • The Shannon class is the RNLI’s next generation all-weather lifeboat (ALB) and is the most agile in the RNLI fleet.
  • The Shannon is the first modern RNLI all-weather lifeboat to be propelled by water jets and not propellers, increasing manoeuvrability.
  • Capable of 25 knots the Shannon is up to 50% faster than the lifeboats it replaces – ensuring that those in need are reached even faster.

RNLI Media Contacts

For more information contact: Adam Holmes,RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07966282294 or at or, Alison Levett, RNLI Public Relations Manager, North, on 07786 668912 or

Media opportunity

When: Saturday 28 January, 13.17pm

Where: Skegness RNLI Lifeboat Station, Tower Esplanade, Skegness, PE25 3HJ

What: Film and photograph the arrival of Skegness RNLI’s new Shannon class all-weather lifeboat, Joel and April Grunnill. The lifeboat will arrive at 1.17pm but should be visible at sea from around 1pm.

Crowds are expected on the Esplanade and sea wall at Lagoon Walk. There will be refreshments in the lifeboat station. Skegness RNLI’s two lifeboats will go to sea to escort Joel and April Grunnill home.

RNLI lifeboat crew and other volunteers at the lifeboat station will be available for interview.

Contact: To attend or for more information, please contact: Adam Holmes, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on: 07966282294 or at or, Alison Levett, RNLI Public Relations Manager, North, on 07786 668912 or at




Getting to grips with the new equipment

Matt Jackson

Getting to grips with the new equipment

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


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