The new class of Royal National Lifeboat Institution lifeboat to replace the Mersey class is to be named the Shannon class, after the river in Ireland.
It follows in a 45-year tradition of naming the RNLI’s lifeboats after rivers or stretches of water, but this is the first time that the name of an Irish river has been used for a class.
The Shannon class lifeboat was previously designated the Fast Carriage Boat 2 or FCB2 reflecting that it will be predominantly launched over beaches.
Using twin waterjets instead of conventional propellers, the Shannon class will be able to operate in shallow waters and be highly manoeuvrable. The waterjets also reduce the risk of damage to the lifeboat during launch and recovery, or when intentionally beached. The lifeboat can be launched, bow first, from a tractor and carriage and will have a top speed of 25 knots.
Like the Tamar class lifeboat, the Shannon class also has specially designed seats that protect the volunteer crew and the System and Information Management System (SIMS), which allows the crew to monitor the lifeboat from the safety of their seats.
More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - June 2011 Issue
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