The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) announced on 13 April 2018 the exciting news that a B class inshore lifeboat will join the fleet at Dartmouth
Dart lifeboat station currently has a single engined smaller D class inshore lifeboat but following a review at the start of 2017 it has now been decided that the station will receive the larger twin engined lifeboat on trial to test its suitability for the area.
The B class lifeboat is the fastest in our fleet, with a top speed of 35 knots. It’s designed as a very capable fast response craft able to operate in more challenging sea conditions and has a greater night capability than the smaller D class.
Dart’s current D class lifeboat operates, often at night, in very challenging and diverse waters with strong wind and tide conditions. So the addition of the faster and larger B class lifeboat will benefit the station in being able to meet the demand of the rescues they face.
Simon Crayfourd, Area Lifesaving Manager, says: ‘This is an important change for the RNLI in Dart as we continue to improve the lifeboat service around the coast. The capability and standards of our lifeboats are constantly developing and improving; resulting in safer, more advanced lifeboats for our volunteer crews.
‘The review has indicated a potential need for a B class lifeboat stationed at Dartmouth based on the number and type of incidents that the station has responded to over the last five years. The current lifeboat is sometimes operating close to the limit of its capability so the larger lifeboat increases the effectiveness of our response to a casualty.’
The review considered the number and types of rescues carried out by each lifeboat, changing trends and water use within the area, search and rescue demands, costs, as well as future needs. As part of this review, both Dart and neighbouring Torbay and Salcombe lifeboat stations were involved in feeding into the review to help build an all-round picture for consideration.
The trial will start later this year, with a review taking place after two years looking at the success of the trial and whether a B class will be placed permanently at Dart lifeboat station.
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