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Nearly time to welcome Torbay’s all-weather lifeboat home!

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI Torbay coxswain Mark Criddle has been in the Isle of Wight this week, looking at all the changes and improvements made to Torbay’s own all-weather lifeboat 17-28 Alec and Christina Dykes before her homecoming, planned for Saturday 24 February.*

RNLI/Adam Fowler

RNLI Torbay lifeboat Alec and Christina Dykes on sea trials, Isle of Wight 15 February 2018

Numerous updates have been made to the Severn Class lifeboat since she left for her refit on Sunday 8 October, the main one being a complete engine refit. Previously, the Severn Class lifeboat had twin 12-cylinder semi-electronic Caterpillar engines both giving 1250 horsepower, but she now boasts two fully-electronic MTU engines each capable of delivering an impressive 1600 horsepower.

Sea trials have gone well this week, and with a full service, check of all equipment and spruce up using the familiar RNLI orange and navy blue livery (but now with black antifoul paint instead of the former red) she is at last ready to come home.

Coxswain Mark has been familiarising with all the improvements and the new (quite different) controls during sea trials, before he and five volunteer crew (expected to be mechanics Simon James and Gary Fletcher, a further engineer and station mechanic Ash McInally) bring her back to her Brixham mooring (all being well) in around one week’s time.

During the refit, full search and rescue capacity for Torbay was maintained with relief lifeboat Volunteer Spirit working alongside Torbay’s D-Class lifeboat also stationed at Brixham, Leslie & Mary Daws. Volunteer Spirit has undertaken some sterling work during her stay (including the rough weather exercise on 7 January, when she diverted to assist trawler Holly Ann) but the crew and support team will certainly be delighted to have Alec & Christina home.

The considerable cost of the engine refit alone demonstrates just how vital fundraising is in keeping the Bay’s lifeboats fully up to date and operational – a huge thank you to all our fantastic supporters! Watch out for a full feature covering RNLI Torbay all-weather lifeboat’s homecoming soon.

*Please note that the scheduled arrival date of 24 February may be subject to change

Notes to editors

Torbay Lifeboat Station Key Facts:

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Victoria Bowen, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07794 043 428: vicki_bowen@rnli.org.uk or contact Carrie Garrad, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07786 668 847: carrie_garrad@rnli.org.uk or alternatively RNLI Public Relations at Poole HQ on 01202 336 789.

RNLI/Mark Criddle

New twin MTU engines aboard the RNLI Torbay all-weather lifeboat

RNLI/Mark Criddle

New engine compartment on board RNLI Torbay Severn Class lifeboat

RNLI/Mark Criddle

Photo showing exhaust pipe below decks on RNLI Torbay all-weather lifeboat

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