Trial Atlantic 75 lifeboat officially goes on service at Dart RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Dart RNLI’s trial B class Atlantic 75 lifeboat has gone on service as an operational lifeboat following weeks of intense training

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Dart RNLI crew welcome their new lifeboat

The lifeboat Joan Bate went on service at 9am this morning (Friday 26 October) as an official lifesaving asset with HM Coastguard. She will work alongside Dart RNLI’s permanent D class lifeboat for the duration of the two year trial.

The final training assessment took place last night which means all sea-going volunteers are now fully trained and competent in using the Atlantic 75’s equipment and technology.

Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager Mark Strudwick said: ‘This is a momentous day and one we have been looking forward to for many months. The Atlantic 75 is a very capable vessel and we are all anticipating putting her to good use on the River Dart during this two year trial. I’d like to thank the entire crew and their families for their support during the last few weeks of training – their dedication and enthusiasm has been inspiring.’

The B class Atlantic 75 class lifeboat is the fastest in the RNLI’s fleet, with a top speed of 35 knots. It’s designed as a very capable fast response craft able to operate in more challenging sea conditions and has a greater night capability than the smaller D class. Previously Joan Bate was on service at Salcombe RNLI until January 2018, where she launched 282 times and saved 11 lives during her 14 year service.

Simon Crayfourd, Area Lifesaving Manager, adds: ‘I’m delighted that the trial has now begun and applaud the commitment and dedication of the volunteers at Dart RNLI who have put in a huge amount of time to ensure they were all trained and skilled in operating the new vessel. This was no small task and the crew have been training day and night over the last few weeks so we’re able to be in this position today. We look forward to seeing how this asset will benefit not just the volunteer lifeboat crew but the entire water community who enjoy the River Dart and the surrounding areas.’

A review was carried out in 2017 and indicated a potential need for a B class lifeboat stationed at Dartmouth based on the number and type of incidents that the station has responded to over the last five years. The review considered the number and types of rescues carried out by each lifeboat, changing trends and water use within the area, search and rescue demands, costs, as well as future needs. As part of this review, both Dart and neighbouring Torbay and Salcombe lifeboat stations were involved in feeding into the review to help build an all-round picture for consideration.

Notes to editors

Attached is an image of the trial Atlantic 75 lifeboat with the volunteers of Dart RNLI. Credit John Fenton Dart RNLI Lifeboat press officer and an image of Atlantic 75 lifeboat Joan Bate whilst at Salcombe. Credit Salcombe RNLI.

RNLI media contacts John Fenton. Dart RNLI Lifeboat press officer. jsfdartrnli@btinternet.com
Emma Haines Regional Media Officer emma_haines@rnli.org.uk

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The lifeboat Joan Bate

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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For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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