A new era begins at Invergordon RNLI Lifeboat Station
The wait for the volunteer crew in Invergordon finally came to an end today when they welcomed their new Shannon class lifeboat as the operational Station Lifeboat.
Arriving in the Cromarty Firth for the first time in November 2020, the Shannon was welcomed and escorted by the stations Trent class lifeboat. After her arrival, the volunteer crew undertook training to become fully competent in their new lifeboat; familiarising themselves with new and procedures by undertaking many scenarios and drills on the Shannon class vessel.
With a top speed of 25 knots and a range of 250 nautical miles, the self-righting lifeboat is ideally suited for offshore searches or equally rescues in calmer shallower waters, her twin Scania 650hp engines provides enough power to tow large vessels – and her waterjet technology allows her to manoeuvre in shallow waters, much easier than with traditional propeller seen on our current lifeboats.
The team at Invergordon as a whole were delighted to be given the news that a Shannon lifeboat would be the replacement for ‘Douglas Aikman Smith’ and were further delighted and humbled when it was announced that the Shannon would also hold the first Launch a Memory campaign decal where for the first time, supporters could apply to have their loved one's name printed in the letters and numbers on the hull of lifeboat, which will save lives at sea for years to come.
The Trent Class will be placed in the RNLI relief lifeboat fleet within the Scottish region ensuring the coast safety is maintained when required by relief lifeboats after 25 year’s service at Invergordon.
Agnes A P Barr in memory of the main donor Agnes Arthur Paton Barr, who left in excess of £1m to the RNLI to fund a lifeboat on the east coast of Scotland. Mrs Barr was an RNLI member with a long family history of support for the RNLI, having funded numerous projects in Scotland during her lifetime, passing away at the age of 97.
Andrew Murray, RNLI Coxswain at Invergordon Lifeboat Station, says: “We are absolutely delighted to have our new Shannon Class Lifeboat “Agnes AP Barr” officially placed on service today as the operational Lifeboat stationed at Invergordon.
The covid situation since last March has significantly delayed this day however it is testament to the all the tireless hard work of our volunteer crew and the RNLI training staff that we have finally reached this momentous day in our Stations history.
Our new Shannon, number 13-37, replaces our previous Trent Class Lifeboat “Douglas Aikman Smith” which has served the Station well for the last 25 years and will now join the RNLI’s Relief Lifeboat Fleet.
We will be sorry to see her finally depart, however our new Shannon “Agnes AP Barr” with her advanced technology will enhance our lifesaving capability in the inner Moray Firth. She also holds a special place in many people’s hearts as the RNLI’s first Launch a Memory Lifeboat and carries the names and memories of many loved ones which we are extremely proud to have with us each time the Lifeboat is launched.”
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.