New lifeboat and new station for Loch Ness RNLI after busiest year

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew based in Drumnadrochit have a new lifeboat station and a new lifeboat, 2017 was their busiest year and 2018 will mark their 10th anniversary as an RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) lifeboat station.

The new Loch Ness Lifeboat Sheila & Dennis Tongue IV (right) alongside the old lifeboat the Colin James Daniel (left)

RNLI/Henry Weaver

The new Loch Ness Lifeboat Sheila & Dennis Tongue IV (right) alongside the old lifeboat the Colin James Daniel (left)

The current station was built on Temple Pier, Drumnadrochit by the Coastguard as a base for their rescue boat in 1996. The service was taken over by the RNLI in 2008 and now, as we approach the 10th anniversary of the RNLI lifeboat station on Loch Ness, the RNLI is proud to announce the completion of a new lifeboat station on Loch Ness.

Loch Ness Lifeboat Station is holding an open day on Saturday 3 March so if you’d like to come along and meet the crew, see the new station and witness the capabilities of the new lifeboat, please come along between 11am and 3pm. The station is currently recruiting new volunteers to join the team. You can follow Loch Ness RNLI Team on Facebook for more details.

As well as a new station, Loch Ness has a new lifeboat. The Atlantic 75 class lifeboat is one of the last of her kind and has reached the end of her operational life. In line with the rest of the RNLI she has been replaced by a larger, faster, more advanced Atlantic 85 class inshore lifeboat.

Lifeboat Operations Manager Joanna Stebbings said:

‘We’re so pleased to be moving into our new station, the old boathouse has served us well for nearly ten years but it’s little more than an extended garage. It will be a huge step forward to have proper changing facilities, a space for training and somewhere we can get the kettle on and warm up after being out on the lifeboat.

‘As well as keeping the crew warm, it will be far better for the new lifeboat to be kept out of the weather and inside the station. The old boat has had it tough over the years and winter after winter left out in the elements has taken its toll.’

RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager, Stuart Gudgeon said:

‘The crew at Loch Ness Lifeboat Station are dedicated to what they do. Like all RNLI volunteer crew they have day jobs, but when they turn up at the station they operate the boat like full-time professional mariners.

‘We’re proud to have such a committed team of volunteers serving our community and dedicating themselves to saving lives on the loch. Thanks to the generosity of the donors and the public, we’re delighted to be able to provide them with both a new lifeboat and lifeboat station so they may safely carry out their duties for the foreseeable future.’

Some additional features of the Atlantic 85 over the lifeboat she replaces are: speed, 35 rather than 32 knots, radar, VHF direction finding equipment for locating casualty vessels, the ability to carry an additional fourth crew member, increased endurance and an intercom so the crew can communicate with each other more effectively.

The new project cost £2.7 million and was largely funded by a generous bequest from Mrs Agnes Barr. The Barr family have a history of supporting the RNLI in Scotland and Mrs Barr’s brother was a keen sailor.

The B class Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Sheila & Dennis Tongue IV was built in-house by the RNLI and cost £214,000. The lifeboat was paid for by Dennis Tongue who left provisions in his Will to purchase four Atlantic class lifeboats, the Loch Ness lifeboat being the last of the four. Dennis Tongue passed away in 2014 and lived in Exeter, Devon.

Notes to Editor

Sligo Bay - B888 – Sheila & Dennis Tongue – on service November 2015

Looe – B894 – Sheila & Dennis Tongue II – on service August 2016

Staithes &Runswick – B897 – Sheila & Dennis Tongue III – on service February 2017

Pictures (credit RNLI/Henry Weaver)

  1. The new Loch Ness Lifeboat Sheila & Dennis Tongue IV (right) alongside the old lifeboat the Colin James Daniel (left)

  1. The new lifeboat and the new station

  1. Some of the crew outside the new station

RNLI media contacts

Henry Weaver, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 01738 642986, 07771 943026,

Gemma McDonald, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07826 900639,

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

The new lifeboat and the new station

RNLI/Henry Weaver

The new lifeboat and the new station
Some of the crew outside the new station

RNLI/Henry Weaver

Some of the crew outside the new station

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.

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 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.