Great news for the RNLI Dart volunteers.
The two year trial to assess the suitability of placing an RNLI B class inshore lifeboat in Dartmouth has been completed. The trial commenced with Salcombe’s ex Atlantic 75 lifeboat on 9 September 2018, to work alongside the D class lifeboat. In particular the Operational Director of the RNLI wished to be very clear about the frequency and type of tasking requests that are placed on the D class lifeboat that are near the limit of the guidelines for its use and capability, including crew safety factors.
On 7 July Mark Strudwick, Lifeboat Operations Manager for the RNLI Dart lifeboat Station, received a letter informing him that the Trustees of the institution had approved the recommendation of the Operations Committee for the permanent allocation of a B class lifeboat at the Dart Lifeboat Station. Although the trial had not run for the full two years it was proven that the desired effect on lifesaving capability had been met which resulted in an earlier than expected approval.
During the trial the Atlantic 75 was launched at the request of the Coastguard, 50 times, saved two lives and assisted 97 people. She was also launched 114 times on exercise, which highlighted the exceptional commitment of the Dart volunteers. During the same period the D class lifeboat was launched 30 times, saved one life and aided 44 people.
Atlantic 75 lifeboats are being phased out and being replaced by the larger, faster and even more capable Atlantic 85.
The date of the arrival of an Atlantic 85, commencing with one from the Relief fleet, depends on when training the crew how to convert from working on a 75 to an 85 can commence. Training restrictions are currently in place due to the Coronavirus. It is expected that the Atlantic 85 will operate from a modification to the Aquadoc which the Atlantic 75 is currently working from.