New inshore lifeboat goes on service at Harwich RNLI
Harwich RNLI is pleased to announce that a brand new inshore lifeboat has now been placed on service following a period of intensive crew training.
On Tuesday 29 May, the RNLI’s Area Lifesaving Manager for the area covering Harwich officially placed the lifeboat on service. The decision to place the lifeboat on service follows a period of huge effort and extra commitment from the volunteer lifeboat crew and wider lifeboat station team, getting the boat ready for service and getting the crew fully trained.
The lifeboat arrived in Harwich last Monday afternoon, 21 May, following construction and trials at the RNLI's inshore lifeboat centre on the Isle of Wight. The new lifeboat, an Atlantic 85 B-Class lifeboat, with boat number B907, will be named Tierney, Harvey & Sonny Reid at the wishes of the incredibly generous donor.
Carrying an extra crew member, the on-board crew increases from three to four. A significantly upgraded electronic navigation system, including the introduction of radar will help to keep the crew safe, particularly in hours of darkness and low visibility. With new direction finding equipment installed, locating those requiring assistance will be made easier in some cases. The larger size of the lifeboat will provide the crew members with more space to work when delivering potentially lifesaving Casualty Care.
Compared to the previous inshore lifeboat, an Atlantic 75, the new Atlantic 85 will achieve a very similar top speed at over 30 knots. Despite having an increase in engine power from 75hp per engine, to 115hp per engine, the new engines will also bring about improved efficiency.
Harwich RNLI in its history has, on occasions, been at the forefront of the introduction of new developments in lifeboat design. Harwich was the first station to see the introduction of a Steam lifeboat, and in 1996 was the first station to receive a Severn Class all weather lifeboat, the largest class of lifeboat in the RNLI fleet. Ongoing developments of the Atlantic 85 now sees Harwich receiving the first Atlantic 85 that has a re-designed crew pod installed, with the most significant change being to the mounting of the hand controls for the SIMS electronic system.
Commenting on the new lifeboat, Harwich RNLI Coxswain Neal Sandquest said: 'Crew familiarisation and training has gone very well, and we are very pleased to have the new lifeboat on service. The training doesn’t stop however, and there is a focus in the coming days on bringing inshore lifeboat mechanics and other key individuals up to speed on the maintenance and workings of the new lifeboat.'
The lifeboat will be formally named in a ceremony later this year. Harwich RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager David Thurston said: ‘Our operational area is extensive, covering several rivers and backwater areas, as well as the open sea. We are very pleased to have this new lifeboat placed on service, and extremely grateful to the donor that has funded the boat. The new boat is a fantastic piece of kit and it brings the latest technology and capabilities to enable our volunteer crew to continue saving lives well into the future. Our volunteer crew have had a very busy period, going through training and becoming familiar with the lifeboat, as well as continuing to respond to the pager.’
RNLI media contacts
Daniel Sime, Lifeboat Press Officer, Harwich Lifeboat Station on 01255 502258, 07793 883797 firstname.lastname@example.org
For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789
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.