Baltimore RNLI welcomes new Atlantic 85 class lifeboat
A new Atlantic 85 class lifeboat has gone on service at Baltimore RNLI. The inshore lifeboat arrived at Baltimore lifeboat station on Thursday 13 September and replaces the Atlantic 75 class lifeboat, Patricia Jennings, which has been used to save lives at sea in Baltimore since 2016.
The volunteer lifeboat crew began a week of familiarisation training on Monday 17 September on the Rita Daphne Smyth and the new inshore lifeboat officially went on service at Baltimore lifeboat station last Thursday evening (20 September).
The new lifeboat has been funded through a legacy from the late Rita Daphne Smyth, a native of Harrow in Middlesex, England, who was a supporter of the charity’s volunteers in saving lives at sea.
The lifeboat Rita Daphne Smyth, is named after Miss Smyth in her memory. Prior to her death in 2014, she wished to leave a bequest to purchase a lifeboat.
The Rita Daphne Smyth will be officially named at a special naming ceremony and service of dedication at Baltimore lifeboat station later this year. Baltimore RNLI also have an all-weather lifeboat, the Alan Massey.
In her 2 years in Baltimore, Patricia Jennings launched 21 times, with its volunteer lifeboat crew rescuing 17 people.
The new lifeboat has some advancement on its predecessor. The Atlantic 85 is 10m longer than the Atlantic 75 and allows room for four crew members onboard rather than three.
The lifeboat is powered by two 115 horse power engines and has a stronger hull and greater top speed of 35 knots. The added radar allows the crew to operate more effectively in poor visibility and there is also VHF direction-finding equipment. The vessel also has a manually operated self-righting mechanism which combined with inversion-proofed engines keeps the lifeboat operational even after capsize. The lifeboat can also be beached in an emergency without causing damage to its engines or steering gear.
The Atlantic 85 which was introduced to the RNLI fleet in 2005 also carries a full suite of communication and electronic navigation aids, as well as a searchlight, night-vision equipment and flares for night-time operations.
Speaking following the arrival of the new lifeboat, Tom Bushe, Baltimore RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘We are extremely grateful to Miss Smyth for the generous legacy donation which has funded our new lifeboat. As we welcome a new lifeboat, there is also a sense of nostalgia among us today too as we bid a fond farewell to Patricia Jennings who provided us with 2 great years of service. Patricia Jennings time here in Baltimore brought many people safely to shore and we hope her donor family will be just as proud as we are, of her many achievements.
‘We are looking forward to being the custodians of this new lifeboat which will allow our volunteers to go on to rescue and save many more lives in the years to come.’
The RNLI is a charity which relies on voluntary contributions and legacies.
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Kate Callanan Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Tel: 087 290 6607
Niamh Stephenson RNLI Regional Media Manager Tel: 087 1254 124 / 01 8900 460 email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org or Nuala McAloon RNLI Regional Media Officer Tel: 087 6483547 email: Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org
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.