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Welsh RNLI representatives come face to face with new £2.7M lifeboat
RNLI lifeboat personnel from Porthdinllaen have travelled to Plymouth to witness their new Tamar class lifeboat being put through its paces. Their new lifeboat which is expected to arrive on station later this summer has been undergoing capsize trails at Babcocks, where the modern new lifeboat has been made.
Porthdinllaen’s Tamar has been funded by the generous bequest of the late Mr John Dominic Spicer, from Oxfordshire who died on the 7 October 2010. At the request of the executors the lifeboat is to be named RNLB John D Spicer.
RNLI representatives from Moelfre, The Mumbles, and St Davids who are also to be allocated Tamars in the near future, were also in Plymouth to watch the lifeboat in action under controlled conditions. The charity which saves lives at sea is investing nearly £10.8M in new Tamar class lifeboats for each of the four stations.
Planning permission for a new boathouse at The Mumbles has already been granted and plans for Moelfre and St Davids will shortly be lodged with the relevant planning authorities.
All RNLI all-weather lifeboats are inherently self righting and undergo a rigorous righting trial before joining the fleet. Should an all-weather lifeboat be capsized in extreme weather, it will automatically right itself within a few seconds.
The trip to Plymouth has created a renewed air of excitement amongst crews at the four stations, which will see their Tyne class lifeboats being replaced with the faster, technologically advanced Tamar’s over the next two years.
RNLI crews at Porthdinllaen who will be the first to receive their new lifeboat will now undertake Pre-Commission Training at the RNLI’s purpose build Lifeboat College at Poole in Dorset to get to grips with every aspect of the new lifeboat. The boat will be temporarily kept on a mooring whilst work to build a new boathouse at the Morfa Nefyn site gets underway.
RNLI Divisional Inspector Colin Williams says:
‘The Tamar is the most technologically advanced lifeboat ever produced by the RNLI, we owe it to our volunteer crews to provide them with the very best lifeboats. Our ability to provide these fantastic new lifeboats is thanks to the continued generosity of the public for which we are continuously grateful. The fact the charity plans to invest in four new Tamars shows our commitment to improving our service off the Welsh coastline.
‘Witnessing Porthdinllaen’s new lifeboat being capsized under controlled conditions will enable the crews to go to sea with the confidence of knowing that the lifeboat will automatically right itself in the very rare event of a capsize.’
Mr Williams added that the RNLI had faced significant challenges in designing many of these new boathouses:
‘Designing homes for these new lifeboats has not been without its challenges. The support we’ve had from local councils, consultative groups and neighbours should not be underestimated. We thank the public for their continued patience as we provide the necessary bases for 21st century lifeboating.’
The Tamar features the latest technology to enhance its lifesaving capabilities. Compared to the Tyne class lifeboat, the Tamar is bigger – 16 metres as opposed to 14 – and has a faster response time, with a speed of 25, rather than 17 knots. The Tamar includes the computerised Systems and Information Management System (SIMS) that enables crew to control many of the lifeboat's functions remotely from the safety of their seats.
Other features include advanced ergonomics, that reduce the impact on the crew as the lifeboat crashes through waves, and a powered Y boat stored behind a transom door to allow immediate deployment.
The first Tamar went on station at Tenby in Wales in 2006, followed by Angle in 2009.
Source: RNLI Website