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Calshot RNLI celebrates 60 years of Inshore Lifeboats.

Lifeboats News Release

Introduced in 1963, the inshore lifeboat continues to be an invaluable asset in the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s (RNLI) fleet as new figures show the charity’s Inshore lifeboats have saved 30,778* lives across 60 years.

Calshot RNLI's Atlantic 85 B Class Lifeboat 'Max Walls' at sea

RNLI/Justyn Leonard

Calshot RNLI's Atlantic 85 B Class Lifeboat 'Max Walls'

Introduced in 1963, the inshore lifeboat continues to be an invaluable asset in the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s (RNLI) fleet as new figures show the charity’s Inshore lifeboats have saved 30,778* lives across 60 years.

Calshot RNLI originally started life as an All Weather Lifeboat Station, before moving to become an Inshore Lifeboat Station in 2012. Calshot currently operates an Atlantic 85 B Class Lifeboat Max Walls and a D Class Lifeboat Willett.

Calshot RNLI’s inshore lifeboats have launched on service 1362 times, saved 50 lives and aided 1077 people.

Jane Banting, Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager at Calshot RNLI said:

‘Our patch consists of the central Solent and one of the busiest ports in the world and many of our rescues need the speed of our ILBs to remove casualty vessels from harm’s way. Our two boats complement each other with the Atlantic having the capacity to travel faster but the D class being able to enter shallow waters more easily.’

Calshot RNLI Volunteer Helm, Andy Headley said of the Atlantic 85 B Class Lifeboat:

‘Within our operational area, speed is a greater requirement than endurance, and with the same capabilities as an ALB, the Atlantic 85 B Class Lifeboat is the most appropriate boat for Central Solent and Southampton Water. The majority of shouts involve people accessing the water for leisure, but the ILB’s have also demonstrated their ability for use with commercial vessels.’

Volunteer Helm, Graham Burgess on the D Class Lifeboat:

‘The versatility of the D Class is its stand out feature with it justifiably deserving it's reputation of being the workhorse of the RNLI. Whether it be performing close quarters manoeuvres in the shallow water of the rivers and shorelines around The Solent or it be punching through the relentless steep swell when wind and tide go head to head in the Western Solent, it is the master of all, ensuring lifeboat crews really can make a difference.’

The RNLI builds and maintains most of its inshore lifeboats in house at their Inshore Lifeboat Centre in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. This allows the charity to have greater control over costs and quality ensuring they produce the best lifesaving asset for their crews and spend their supporters’ donations in the most efficient and effective way.

For more information about our Inshore Lifeboats, click here.

Notes to editors:

· *Statistics taken from 1963 – 2 May 2023. Includes lifesaving statistics from our Atlantic 85, D class and E class lifeboats, launches of our daughter boats from the RNLI’s all-weather lifeboats and models of inshore lifeboats that are no longer part of the RNLI fleet.

Atlantic 85 lifeboat

· The current generation of B class lifeboat is called the Atlantic 85 – named after the Atlantic College in Wales where these rigid inflatable lifeboats (RIBs) were first developed. 85 represents its length – nearly 8.5m. The lifeboat is both day and night capable and can operate in weather up to a Beaufort Force 7.

· There have been three generations of B class lifeboat. The first one was the Atlantic 21, the first RIB to join the RNLI fleet. It served from 1972 until 2008.

· The Atlantic 21 was then replaced by the Atlantic 75, which was in service from 1993 until 2022. It has now been replaced by the Atlantic 85, which was introduced to the fleet in 2005.

· The introduction of the first rigid inflatable lifeboat (RIB) – the Atlantic 21 – into the RNLI fleet back in 1972 revolutionised lifesaving at sea.

· The speed, manoeuvrability, agility and versatility of these RIBs dramatically improved the efficiency and effectiveness of our search and rescue service. All three generations of our Atlantic lifeboats have helped us to save thousands of lives at sea

· When it comes to responding to a lifesaving task, the Atlantic 85 lifeboat is one of the fastest in the fleet; her top speed is 35 knots powered by two 115hp 4-stroke engines.

D class

· With a top speed of 25 knots, the D class lifeboat can operate in both day and night with an endurance of 3 hours at sea.

· As an inflatable inshore lifeboat, the D class is designed to operate close to shore in shallower water. Although our smallest lifeboat, the D class saves more lives than any other class of lifeboat.

· The latest generation of D class lifeboats, known as the IB1 type, was introduced in 2003 with improved speed, manoeuvrability and equipment.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact:

Justyn Leonard, Lifeboat Press Officer on 07540 920678 or email [email protected]

Paul Dunt, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07785 296252 or email [email protected]

Press Office – [email protected] - 01202 336789

Calshot RNLI's D Class Lifeboat 'Willett' on the water

RNLI/Justyn Leonard

Calshot RNLI's D Class Lifeboat 'Willett'

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.