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New Lifeboat Class to be Named After River Shannon

11th April 2011
New Lifeboat Class to be Named After River Shannon
The RNLI has announced that its latest all-weather class of lifeboat will be called the Shannon. It follows in a 45-year tradition of naming the charity's lifeboats after rivers or stretches of water, but it will be the first time that the name of an Irish river has been used.

Paul Boissier, RNLI Chief Executive, said: 'I'm delighted to announce that our latest class of lifeboat will be called the Shannon. Current and previous classes of lifeboat carry, or have carried, the names of rivers from Wales, Scotland and England, so it's fitting that our fleet now reflects the fact that our volunteers save lives at sea all around Ireland as well as the UK.'

The Shannon class lifeboat – its previous designation was the Fast Carriage Boat 2 or FCB2 reflecting that it will be predominantly launched over beaches, – harnesses cutting-edge technology to ensure that it will meet the demands of a 21st century rescue service and allow the charity's volunteer crew to do their lifesaving work as safely as possible in all weather conditions.

RNLI_Shannon_class_side_profile_credit_RNLI

Using twin waterjets instead of conventional propellers, the Shannon class will be able to operate in shallow waters and be highly manoeuvrable. The waterjets also reduce the risk of damage to the lifeboat during launch and recovery, or when intentionally beached.

It can be launched, bow first, from a tractor and carriage and will have a top speed of 25 knots. Like the Tamar class lifeboat, the Shannon also has specially designed seats that protect the volunteer crew and SIMS (System and Information Management System), which allows the crew to monitor the boat from the safety of their seats.

Like all RNLI all-weather lifeboats, the Shannon is self-righting and will return to an upright position in the event of capsize.

Arklow Lifeboat Operations Manager and RNLI Honorary Life Governor Jimmy Tyrell has campaigned for many years for an RNLI lifeboat class to be named after an Irish river.  Commenting on the announcement Jimmy said, "I am thrilled with the news, not just for myself but for everyone involved with the RNLI in Ireland.  It is recognition for all the hard work of our volunteer lifeboat crewmembers, fundraisers and staff in Ireland.  This has been a subject close to my heart for many years and I am delighted that it has been announced while I am still a volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager and heavily involved with the charity.   I am looking forward to seeing it onservice at lifeboat stations in a couple of years."

The Shannon will gradually replace the existing Mersey class lifeboat and will be the final step in enabling the RNLI to fulfil its operation commitment to ensure that all its operational lifeboats have a top speed of 25 knots.

Full sea trials will start later this year and the first operational Shannon class lifeboat is due to go on station in 2013.

RNLI_Shannon_class_lifeboat_credit_RNLI

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) in Ireland Information

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity to save lives at sea in the waters of UK and Ireland. Funded principally by legacies and donations, the RNLI operates a fleet of lifeboats, crewed by volunteers, based at a range of coastal and inland waters stations. Working closely with UK and Ireland Coastguards, RNLI crews are available to launch at short notice to assist people and vessels in difficulties.

RNLI was founded in 1824 and is based in Poole, Dorset. The organisation raised €210m in funds in 2019, spending €200m on lifesaving activities and water safety education. RNLI also provides a beach lifeguard service in the UK and has recently developed an International drowning prevention strategy, partnering with other organisations and governments to make drowning prevention a global priority.

Irish Lifeboat Stations

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland, with an operational base in Swords, Co Dublin. Irish RNLI crews are tasked through a paging system instigated by the Irish Coast Guard which can task a range of rescue resources depending on the nature of the emergency.

Famous Irish Lifeboat Rescues

Irish Lifeboats have participated in many rescues, perhaps the most famous of which was the rescue of the crew of the Daunt Rock lightship off Cork Harbour by the Ballycotton lifeboat in 1936. Spending almost 50 hours at sea, the lifeboat stood by the drifting lightship until the proximity to the Daunt Rock forced the coxswain to get alongside and successfully rescue the lightship's crew.

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895.

FAQs

While the number of callouts to lifeboat stations varies from year to year, Howth Lifeboat station has aggregated more 'shouts' in recent years than other stations, averaging just over 60 a year.

Stations with an offshore lifeboat have a full-time mechanic, while some have a full-time coxswain. However, most lifeboat crews are volunteers.

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895

In 2019, 8,941 lifeboat launches saved 342 lives across the RNLI fleet.

The Irish fleet is a mixture of inshore and all-weather (offshore) craft. The offshore lifeboats, which range from 17m to 12m in length are either moored afloat, launched down a slipway or are towed into the sea on a trailer and launched. The inshore boats are either rigid or non-rigid inflatables.

The Irish Coast Guard in the Republic of Ireland or the UK Coastguard in Northern Ireland task lifeboats when an emergency call is received, through any of the recognised systems. These include 999/112 phone calls, Mayday/PanPan calls on VHF, a signal from an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) or distress signals.

The Irish Coast Guard is the government agency responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue operations. To carry out their task the Coast Guard calls on their own resources – Coast Guard units manned by volunteers and contracted helicopters, as well as "declared resources" - RNLI lifeboats and crews. While lifeboats conduct the operation, the coordination is provided by the Coast Guard.

A lifeboat coxswain (pronounced cox'n) is the skipper or master of the lifeboat.

RNLI Lifeboat crews are required to follow a particular development plan that covers a pre-agreed range of skills necessary to complete particular tasks. These skills and tasks form part of the competence-based training that is delivered both locally and at the RNLI's Lifeboat College in Poole, Dorset

 

While the RNLI is dependent on donations and legacies for funding, they also need volunteer crew and fund-raisers.

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