Aith Lifeboat benefits from electrical upgrade

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI lifeboat stationed in Aith, Shetland has been fitted with new navigation and communication equipment.

RNLI/John Robertson

Aith lifeboat RNLI Charles Lidbury in Inverness for electronics upgrade

The move to modernise the on-board systems will make it easier for the vessel’s volunteer crew to locate people in need of rescue at sea.

The RNLI Charles Lidbury has returned to Aith Lifeboat Station following a planned electronics refit in Inverness. It’s new navigation and communication systems were installed by a team of RNLI engineers, and the ship's hull was also cleaned, a job that involved lifting the 17 meter lifeboat out of the water by crane.

Crew members from Aith volunteered their time to take the vessel to Inverness, and also helped to carry out the return passage home when the refit was completed. The electrical work – mainly based in the wheelhouse of the RNLI Charles Lidburyhas improved the vessel's Radar, Direction Finding and VHF capabilities.

RNLI mechanic John Robertson stayed away with the vessel for the 2 week duration of the overhaul. He says: ‘The Aith Lifeboat had a major engine upgrade in 2017. Now, having introduced more modern electronic systems, we’re confident that we are as well equipped as possible to help save lives at sea. The considerable cost of these upgrades demonstrate just how important fundraising is to our lifeboat operations, so a huge thank you to all of our fantastic supporters, and to the RNLI technicians who carried out the refit to such a high standard’

Aith Lifeboat station was supported by the RNLI with a relief lifeboat, ensuring that the station’s search and rescue capabilities were not reduced while the Charles Lidbury was away from base.

Notes to editors

· Aith lifeboat station has been operating for over 80 years, and is the most northerly in the UK. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to:

RNLI media contacts

Daniel Lawson, Lifeboat Press Officer, 07765560695, [email protected]

Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 01738 642986, 07920 365929, [email protected]

Gemma McDonald, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07826 900639, [email protected]

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

RNLI/John Robertson

The wheelhouse of Aith lifeboat RNLI Charles Lidbury during upgrades to navigation equipment

RNLI/John Robertson

The RNLI Charles Lidbury (left) tied up in Kirkwall on its way to Inverness for an electronics upgrade, alongside fellow Severn class lifeboat RNLI Margaret Foster

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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 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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