New inshore Atlantic 85 class lifeboat arrives at Salcombe RNLI
At midday on Friday 12 January, a new Atlantic 85 class lifeboat, the Gladys Hilda Mustoe, goes into service at Salcombe RNLI.
The new lifeboat arrived at RNLI Salcombe three weeks ago and, following an intensive period of crew training, she replaces the Atlantic 75, Joan Bate, which has been on station in Salcombe since 2003.
The new lifeboat has several advantages over its predecessor with room for up to four crew members and considerably more rescue equipment than the Atlantic 75. The Atlantic 85 is powered by two 115hp engines, has a stronger hull and an increased top speed of 35 knots. Radar allows the crew to operate more effectively in poor visibility, she has VHF direction-finding equipment to assist in locating casualty vessels, and there is a much improved and upgraded suite of communication and electronic navigation aids, as well as a searchlight, night-vision equipment and flares for night-time operations.
Like the Atlantic 75, the new lifeboat has a manually operated self-righting mechanism and inversion-proofed engines which keep her operational even after a capsize. The Atlantic 85 can also be beached in an emergency without causing damage to its engines or steering gear.
Speaking following the arrival of the new lifeboat, Mark Dowie, Salcombe RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: 'We are extremely grateful to our donor family for their generous donation which has funded our new lifeboat. I am sure that she will be a worthy successor to her predecessor and that lives will be saved by her and her crew.
'As we welcome a new lifeboat, there is also a sense of nostalgia as we bid a fond farewell to the Joan Bate, a lifeboat that provided us with 14 great years of service. Her time here in Salcombe brought many people safely to shore and we are proud of her many achievements.'
There will be a formal naming ceremony for the new lifeboat on Tuesday 1 May with events planned in both Salcombe and Kingsbridge.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.