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New Lytham St Annes Shannon lifeboat goes into the water for the first time

Lifeboats News Release

Lytham St Annes RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew looking forward to the arrival of their new Shannon class lifeboat next year are another step closer to it happneing after it entered the water for the first time.

a Shannon class lifeboat

RNLI/Sophie Wood

the new Lytham St Annes Shannon class lifeboat

At a small ceremony at the RNLI’s All-Weather Lifeboat Centre at Poole in Dorset, the new Shannon class lifeboat for Lytham St Annes Barbara Anne was lowered into the water for the first time.

There now follows six weeks of sea trials and checks to ensure the vessel is perfect in every respect. This will be followed in the New Year by crew training on the boat at Poole before the new lifeboat is brought round to Lytham St Annes at the end of February 2018. Once here, further crew training will follow for a number of weeks before she takes over as the Lytham St Annes lifeboat and the current Mersey class vessel Her Majesty the Queen will leave for the last time.

The new boat will be faster, so potentially can save more lives. it is also larger and far safer for her crew, the shore crew who are necessary to launch and recover her and for survivors being brought back from the sea after rescue.

Activity at the lifeboat station will start in early January 2018, with the arrival of a new Shannon launch and recovery system (SLARS), the name given to the combined tractor and carriage which is needed to launch the new lifeboat. The early arrival is to allow the tractor drivers to be trained for this completely new method of launching. The present Talus tractor and carriage will be retained to launch the Her Majesty the Queen until she is replaced as the station boat.

The Shannon Appeal to raise £275,000 towards funding the Barbara Anne is progressing well and the community is expected to achieve the target by the time the new boat arrives in Lytham St Annes.

Notes to editors:

Report by David Forshaw, Lytham St Annes RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer

  • Lytham St Annes lifeboat station was founded in 1851
  • Since then nine medals for bravery have been awarded to Volunteer Crew members.
  • To learn more about the station, please go to: www.lythamlifeboats.co.uk
RNLI media contacts:

For more information please contact David Forshaw, Lytham St Annes volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07904 685 206 or David_Forshaw@rnli.org.uk, Peter Whalley, Lytham St Annes volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer on 07872 026395 or Pete_Whalley@rnli.org.uk or Chris Cousens, RNLI Regional Media Officer, West on 077482 65486 or chris_cousens@rnli.org.uk

the stern of the new lifeboat showing her station name

RNLI/Sophie Wood

The new Lytham St Annes lifeboat
the wheelhouse of the lifeboat showing her name "Barbara Anne"

RNLI/Sophie Wood

The new lifeboat's name
A lifeboat is hanging ready to be lowered into the water. She displays the number 13-24

RNLI/Sophie Wood

The new lifeboat is prepared to be lowered into the water
The boat is being lowered watched by a number of people

RNLI/Andy Clift

The ceremony

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland

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