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Shannon class lifeboat trialled successfully at Clacton

Lifeboats News Release

Trials of an all-weather lifeboat (ALB) at Clacton-on-Sea, as part preparations for the lifeboat station receiving a new Shannon class, have proved successful.

RNLI staff and volunteers trialling the Shannon at the beach at Clacton with the lifeboat on its tractor, on a sandy beach, sun shining and

RNLI/Bridge Aherne

RNLI staff and volunteers trialling the Shannon at the beach at Clacton

A Lifesaving Effect Review (LSER) identified that Clacton-on-Sea is the best place for a Shannon to be positioned and improves the overall lifesaving effect for this part of the coast.

Trials of this nature are vital to assess any challenges and overcome them to ensure the vital kit is safely transported into the town.

Shannon Storm Rider was brought to the beach at Clacton from Lowestoft and launched and recovered from the lifeboat station across three days.

Dave Wells, Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) at RNLI Clacton, said: ‘It’s been an exciting few days to see a Shannon on the beach here – as well as a steep learning curve to understand how it will manoeuvre around our lifeboat station, our roads and the beach.

‘The crew were pleased to get chance to get up close to a lifeboat like the one that will be coming here and understand what it will take to launch and recover it to save lives at sea from Clacton-on-Sea.

Storm Rider is much bigger than our current biggest boat – Atlantic 85 David Porter MPS – so this gave us essential knowledge to understand what we will need here in the coming months and years to provide the most effective service.’

The Shannon came down from Lowestoft on the evening of Tuesday 18 July and its launch and recovery system came by road to Clacton-on-Sea.

The 37-tonne Shannon launch and recovery system (SLARS) acts like a mobile slipway for the lifeboat, which can be driven directly onto the beach for recovery. It can carry an 18-tonne Shannon over all kinds of beach terrain, from steep shelving shingle to wet, sticky sand.

Across the days the trials took place, different locations to store the Shannon and SLARS were identified and tested, the SLARS took Storm Rider onto the beach, and the lifeboat was launched and recovered several times.

Crew members from Clacton-on-Sea will now begin undertaking regular training in the lead up to the Shannon arriving at the lifeboat station.

There will be opportunities for new people to join the station and become part of the team, both seagoing and shore crew, as the new Shannon arrives, and you can find out more by visiting the station or going to https://rnli.org/support-us/volunteer/how-you-can-volunteer/be-a-lifeboat-station-volunteer

RNLI staff and volunteers trialling the Shannon at the beach at Clacton with the lifeboat being pulled by tractor on the road behind the station

RNLI/Bridge Aherne

RNLI staff and volunteers trialling the Shannon at the beach at Clacton
RNLI staff and volunteers trialling the Shannon at the beach at Clacton. This image shows the boat from above being pulled by tractor onto the beach

RNLI/Bridge Aherne

View from above as the Shannon is trialled at Clacton

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.