A two-year trial has been approved for Newhaven RNLI to operate a D-class inshore lifeboat (ILB) to serve alongside its existing Severn class all-weather lifeboat (ALB).
The two-year trial will allow the RNLI to assess and evaluate the suitability for a permanent ILB at Newhaven. The ALB will continue to be stationed at Newhaven, the deepest safe water port of refuge between Dover and Portsmouth.
Lewis Arnold, Newhaven Coxswain/Mechanic, says: ‘This is excellent news for our station. Maintaining both lifeboats in Newhaven will help us respond more efficiently to the specific nature of each shout. Ultimately we aim to provide the most effective service to our community that we are able and save more lives at sea.’
The additional ILB will service tasking calls received that could be more efficiently attended by a smaller lifeboat. For example, to an area where the water is more shallow - such as responding to casualties who have been cut off by the tide.
Newhaven RNLI’s majestic Severn class, the David and Elizabeth Acland, launches to a great variety of search and rescue service calls: into the Channel and along the coast between the station’s boundaries of Belle Tout Lighthouse in the east, to Saltdean in the west. Her volunteer crew will often launch it’s smaller, on board, daughter Y-class boat into the water for the final stages of a rescue.
Phill Corsi, Area Lifesaving Manager for the Sussex coast from Shoreham to Hastings, says: ‘This is a hugely exciting development for Newhaven RNLI. I believe that the trial inshore lifeboat will bring real benefits to those in need of rescue. And it will offer greater training opportunities for existing and new volunteer crew, who we welcome.’
‘The crew and management team are eager to be involved in this trial. None of our search and rescue work would be possible without the commitment and hard work of our fundraising and retail volunteers at the station.’
When Newhaven’s new modern afloat station was built in 2004, it was designed with the option to accommodate an inshore lifeboat. Only minor modifications are required to introduce the D-class ILB to the station.
This trial will be complemented by enhanced water safety education and drowning prevention work at Newhaven RNLI. Work has already begun to recruit water safety officers and advisers. The RNLI’s combined focus on prevention and rescue activity will allow people to enjoy the coastline in greater safety around this part of the Sussex coast.
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For more information please telephone Roz Ashton, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07900 887423 or [email protected]
or Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer on 07785 296252 [email protected]
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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 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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