New Tynemouth RNLI inshore lifeboat performs first ever service.

Lifeboats News Release

Tynemouth RNLI's new inshore lifeboat has launched on her first service just 41 hours after being delivered to the lifeboat station.

The new lifeboat arrived on Wednesday, 21st November after construction and trials at the RNLI's Inshore Lifeboat Centre at Cowes, Isle of Wight and is named Little Susie at the request of the generous donors, Pat and Susan Russell, who provided all of the funds to build the lifeboat.

Little Susie was requested to launch with a crew of three volunteers at 05:26 on Saturday morning by UK Coastguard's Humber Operations Centre who had concerns about a possible missing person on the coast. the person was located soon after, away from the sea.

The D class inshore lifeboat has been the workhorse of the RNLI for over 50 years since it was first introduced into the RNLI’s lifeboat fleet in 1963, with the design of the inflatable D class lifeboat continuing to evolve to meet changes in demand and technology. The D class is a highly manoeuvrable boat which usually operates closer to shore than all-weather lifeboats, with better capabilities for carrying out search and rescues in surf, shallow water and close to cliffs, among rocks and even inside caves.

After being transported from Cowes to North Shields, the new lifeboat was prepared for service, given a short trial, and officially placed into service at 11.50 on Wednesday morning. It replaces the previous D-class lifeboat at the station which had served for over ten years, launching over 300 times to go to the aid of people in need of help at sea and in the river Tyne.

David Stenhouse, Tynemouth RNLI's volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: 'Our operational area for the inshore lifeboat covers the Tyne harbour, the open sea, the bays and beaches of North and South Tyneside and also the river Tyne right up to Newburn. We are very pleased to have this new lifeboat placed on service, and extremely grateful to Pat and Susan Russell who have funded the boat which is a fantastic piece of kit and brings the latest technology and capabilities to enable our volunteer crew to continue saving lives well into the future.

'Tynemouth is a busy station so it comes as no surprise that our new lifeboat was called into service soon after arriving.

Mr Stenhouse added: 'Little Susie', numbered D-829, will be officially christened into the RNLI's lifeboat fleet at a naming ceremony that will take place at Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station in May 2019.

Ends

Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station was established in 1862 although there have been lifeboats on the river Tyne since the world's first purpose-built lifeboat was launched here in 1790. The station has 30 volunteer crew members who come from all walks of life. We operate two lifeboats: The Severn class all weather lifeboat Spirit of Northumberland and D class inshore lifeboat Little Susie. You can find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/TynemouthRNLI or follow us on Twitter @TynemouthRNLI and Instagram.com/tynemouth_rnli.
Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station's new D-class inshore lifeboat D-829 'Little Susie' is launched on service for the very first time on a dark and cold Saturday morning.

RNLI/Dave Robinson

Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station's new D-class inshore lifeboat D-829 'Little Susie' is launched on service for the very first time on a dark and cold Saturday morning.
Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station welcomes its new D-class inshore lifeboat D-829 'Little Susie', seen entering the water for the first time and being given a short trial in the lower Tyne harbour by station Coxswain Michael Nugent and Helm Ian Black.

RNLI/Adrian Don

Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station welcomes its new D-class inshore lifeboat D-829 'Little Susie', seen entering the water for the first time and being given a short trial in the lower Tyne harbour by station Coxswain Michael Nugent and Helm Ian Black.

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 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.

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