Town Lifeboat returns to Aberystwyth
The Atlantic Class lifeboat B-822 'Spirit of Friendship' arrived back in Aberystwyth on the 16th of April after an extensive refit.
This is the first major refit of the lifeboat and is done on a service based need to save costs on unnecessary refits. After an assessment the boat is stripped back to the hull, and checked for damage, the boat is then put back together with any modifications, or replacements that had been identified. Aberystwyths boat, is well maintained by its team of volunteers and will return pretty much as it left, but with a new console layout for the helm and the crew integrated with the System and Information Management system (SIMS).
SIMS is used across all the new classes of lifeboats, and runs the plotter, radar, navigation and other tools, allowing crews to be trained on one lifeboat and then be able to use those skills on another class of lifeboat should the need arise. SIMS is a big change and so the relief lifeboat will remain on station this week, whilst all the volunteer crew at Aberystwyth will undergo some intensive training on the new system to get used to it this week.
Paul McCann, crewman said "The refit reassures the crew that the boat is in great condition and capable of handling the worst conditions should the need arise. Its great to have her back and once in operation the new kit will allow us to carry out tasks quicker, more efficiently and safer, these kinds of developments will help us to save more lives at sea."
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.