One of the RNLI’s new Shannon all-weather class Lifeboats has visited Leverburgh Lifeboat station yesterday.
The RNLB Jock and Annie Slater officially joined the RNLI fleet on Thursday 11th July, following a special naming ceremony at the RNLI College in Poole.
She is part of the charity’s relief fleet, and is currently on a tour of various Lifeboat Stations which are likely to receive a Shannon class boat in the near future. The Lifeboat arrived at Leverburgh at about 3pm, and will head for Tobermory, Mull this afternoon.
The RNLI currently plan to build 50 new Shannon Class Lifeboats in the next ten years, and these will eventually replace the likes of the Mersey class Lifeboats – one of which is based at Leverburgh.
The Shannon class is capable of a speed of 25 knots and is powered by water jets instead of propellers for increased manoeuvrability, making it the most agile all-weather lifeboat in the fleet.
The water jets also mean that in addition to her capability of working in deep water, she is safer to operate in shallow waters, which makes the Shannon an ideal boat for working in the area covered by the Leverburgh Lifeboat.
As with many other Lifeboats, the Shannon class is self-righting and will be able to cope with the most severe weather conditions.
Leverburgh Lifeboat Operations Manager, John MacLean said: “We are pleased to welcome the new Shannon class Lifeboat on this visit to Leverburgh.
“Our volunteer crew have had a chance to take a look around the boat, and to see for themselves the kind of vessel which will hopefully serve our waters in the future.
“We have had three shouts in the last week alone, and we have been called on a total of 27 times since our station was made operational in May 2012. There is no question about how vital the Lifeboat has been our the area, and if a new Shannon class Lifeboat can help us to provide a more efficient and safer service in the future, then we would most certainly welcome that.”