Exmouth last week played host to a new lifeboat whose cutting-edge technology was put through its paces by the RNLI. The Shannon class all-weather lifeboat is currently undergoing extensive sea trials and beach trials around the country where she’s been tested in a range of conditions.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Cutting-edge technology was on trial when the RNLI put a new lifeboat to the test in Exmouth’s shallow waters.
Exmouth last week played host to a new lifeboat whose cutting-edge technology was put through its paces by the RNLI.
The Shannon class all-weather lifeboat is currently undergoing extensive sea trials and beach trials around the country where she’s being tested in a range of conditions.
The new lifeboat spent two days being trialled off Exmouth’s shallow waters. The RNLI said the vessel features twin water jets instead of conventional propellers, allowing her to be highly manoeuvrable.
John Deas, RNLI’s principal engineer, said tests needed to be stringent because the boat was the first to run on water jets and, also to use a new launching system.
He said: “We’re delighted with the Shannon’s performance and, while at Exmouth, have been able to work with her in shallow water.
“We’ve also been able to carry out extensive trials on the new RNLI launch and recovery system that’s been developed jointly between the RNLI and Supacat, specifically for this lifeboat.
“The system enables the lifeboat to be launched and recovered from beaches which, in a lot of cases, are some distance from the boathouse.
“The space on the beach outside the Exmouth RNLI lifeboat station has proved really useful for trialling the new system and lifeboat.”
The £1.5million lifeboat was designed by RNLI naval architects and is self-righting in the event of capsizing.
The vessel incorporates a new system which allows the crew volunteers to monitor the lifeboat from the safety of their seats, reducing the need to move around and risk injury.
The lifeboat will continue to undergo sea trials this year, with the first operational Shannon class lifeboat going on station in 2013.
One of the first lifeboat stations in the South West to receive a Shannon will be St Ives in Cornwall.