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Leverburgh RNLI's new Shannon class Lifeboat ready for service

Lifeboats News Release

Leverburgh RNLI’s new Shannon class Lifeboat goes on service from 1700 hours today.

RNLB Stella and Humfrey Berkeley 13-25 at sea, with flags

Nicholas Leach

RNLB Stella and Humfrey Berkeley 13-25
Following a very busy period, Leverburgh RNLI’s volunteer crew have passed their Shannon-based training and the RNLB Stella and Humfrey Berkeley 13-25 will go on service at 5 pm today.

The new £2.2m Lifeboat arrived in Leverburgh, to a huge crowd, on Saturday 21st April. Training on the Shannon class had begun before that time, with various crew members visiting the RNLI’s college in Poole for training and familiarisation. Following the Shannon’s arrival in Leverburgh, crew undertook a further period of intensive training and have now been passed out.

RNLI Fleet Staff Coxswain, Andrew said: It has been a pleasure to work with all the volunteers at Leverburgh Lifeboat Station. To see their new Shannon class lifeboat going on service is a proud moment for everyone involved and a massive date in the station’s history books. The new boat will serve the station well for years to come, but will always need the volunteers to continue the great work that they do, to allow it all to happen. Thank you to all the training staff and everyone else involved for making this Shannon delivery, to such a beautiful corner of the world, a pleasure to be part of.”

The Shannon class Lifeboat is the RNLI’s first modern all-weather lifeboat to be propelled by waterjets instead of traditional propellers, making her the most agile and manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat yet, a feature which will be particularly beneficial when working in the challenging waters of the Sound of Harris. Furthermore, the Shannon is almost 50% faster than Leverburgh’s previous Mersey Class Lifeboat, RNLB The Royal Thames, with a top speed of 25 knots – a crucial factor when lives are at risk.

Leverburgh RNLI Coxswain, Angus Morrison, who was part of the team who took the new Shannon from Poole to Leverburgh said: “Apart from the increased speed, range and manoeuvrability of the Shannon, one of the most significant improvements is the increased safety and welfare of the crew. Each seat is mounted on a shock absorber, and individual electronic screens allow the crew to operate and monitor most of the lifeboat’s functions from the safety of their seat. It is a real honour to be in receipt of such an impressive vessel and we are sure she will serve our coastal communities well for years to come.”

Leverburgh RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, Chris Ross added: “We would like to pay particular thanks to all the RNLI trainers and assessors who have visited us over recent months, for their time and the wealth of knowledge they have brought with them. We would also like to thank our local coastguard helicopter teams for assisting us with our most recent training. It is a truly memorable occasion to have our new Shannon class Lifeboat go on service and one which we are delighted to be a part of. The Mersey Class Lifeboat has served us well since the station’s establishment in 2012, but the arrival of the Shannon in Leverburgh brings a whole host of new, much more advanced, life-saving capability to our coasts. While today’s announcement is welcome news in terms of crew having been passed out, the opportunity to learn will no doubt carry on well into the future as they continue to acquaint themselves with their new vessel.”

Leverburgh’s new Shannon Class Lifeboat will be officially named at a special ceremony, to be held on Saturday 14th July. More information on this will follow in the coming weeks.

Rnli media contacts:

Catriona MacLennan, Lifeboat Press Officer, Leverburgh RNLI. 07827 994354,

RNLB Stella and Humfrey Berkeley 13-25 beside large crowd of people on Leverburgh pier

John J MacLennan

RNLB Stella and Humfrey Berkeley 13-25

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.

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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