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Largs RNLI assist sailing boat

Lifeboats News Release

Largs volunteers launch their inshore lifeboat ‘R.A.Wilson’ to aid stricken vessel as the RNLI celebrates the lifesaving 60th anniversary of its Inshore Lifeboats.

Largs lifeboat at Largs Yacht Haven

Ardrossan CRT / Paul McGill

Largs lifeboat at Largs Yacht Haven

HM Coastguard requested the launch of Largs RNLI’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat, ‘R.A.Wilson’, shortly after 7pm on Wednesday 28 June 2023 to assist a yacht located around one mile west of Largs lifeboat station.

Largs lifeboat volunteers assembled and quickly launched, locating the casualty vessel near to a navigation buoy.

On arrival it was established the yacht had entangled its propeller in fishing creel lines. The volunteer crew assisted in freeing the vessel and escorted it to Largs Yacht Haven where they were met by the local Coastguard Rescue Team and the casualty vessel was handed over into their care.

Largs lifeboat then returned to the lifeboat station where it was cleaned, refuelled and made ready for service.

Gordon Kennedy, Helm at Largs lifeboat station said; ‘The Atlantic 85 lifeboat is a very capable lifeboat to work with. Whether you’re heading to the scene of an incident, conducting a search or carrying out the actual rescue, she’s got all the power and kit you could want.’

Introduced around the UK by the RNLI in 1963, the Inshore Lifeboat continues to be an invaluable asset in the RNLI’s fleet as new figures show the charity’s inshore lifeboats have saved over 30,000 lives across 60 years.

Largs RNLI’s Atlantic 85 ‘R.A.Wilson’ has enabled our volunteer crew to reach areas close to shore to rescue people in trouble. These fast and highly manoeuvrable lifesaving craft answered the need for a quicker and more agile response to rescues in areas of water that are more challenging to the larger and slower all-weather lifeboats.

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.

RNLI media contacts

Claire McRae, Lifeboat Press Officer, 07738681546, [email protected]

Brian Rankin, Lifeboat Press Officer, 07810862468, [email protected]

Natasha Bennett, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 07826 900639, [email protected]

Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 07920 365929, [email protected]

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

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.