This ‘hot off the press’ from our Dutch mariner friends at Maritime News Clippings.
Margate RNLI lifeboat station will receive a new Shannon class all-weather lifeboat in three years’ time, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution has announced. Volunteer crew members at the lifeboat station at The Rendezvous were thrilled to get official confirmation that a Shannon class lifeboat, the latest in the RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat fleet, will replace the smaller Mersey class which has been on station since 1987. The Shannon class is the RNLI’s first all-weather lifeboat to be powered by water-jet engines rather than the traditional propellers, giving it increased agility and manoeuvrability. With a top speed of 25 knots it is 50% faster than the Mersey class lifeboat it will replace.
The allocation of the new lifeboat was confirmed in a letter from George Rawlinson, RNLI Operations Director, to Paul Hodson, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Margate. Paul said: ‘This is exciting news for us all. With its increased speed over our current lifeboat, the Shannon class will provide the opportunity to offer a greatly enhanced service.’
Due to the size and dimensions of the new Shannon lifeboat, a new boathouse will be required to house it. After careful consideration, the charity is seeking planning permission to build an entirely new boathouse on the eastern part of the Marine Sands. The boathouse would reduce the time it takes to launch the lifeboat from her current station as well as create space for the new Shannon, Margate’s existing D-class lifeboat, and associated beach lifeguard equipment. Paul Hodson said: ‘The RNLI decided the announcement of the new Shannon presents an opportunity to make a number of improvements for Margate. The building will bring together all our lifesaving assets under one roof, as well as create space for crew training. It also includes a public viewing area, which will attract more people to the seafront. In that way we hope it will contribute to the regeneration of the seafront in the town.’
The RNLI began the planning application process Friday 30th January by submitting the required pre-application to Thanet District Council.The RNLI has allocated the lifeboat to arrive on station in early 2018 although this can be subject to change, subject to a review of various aspects of progress. To find out more about the Shannon class