Bal­ti­more RNLI gets new lifeboat

Irish Examiner - County - - News - Sean O’Rior­dan

Bal­ti­more RNLI has just put a new lifeboat into ser­vice, re­plac­ing one which over the last two years helped to res­cue 17 peo­ple dur­ing 21 call-outs.

The Bal­ti­more crew’s new At­lantic 85 class lifeboat is called the Rita Daphne Smyth.

It was named in the me­mory of a late na­tive of Har­row in Mid­dle­sex, Eng­land, who was a sup­porter of the char­ity’s vol­un­teers for many years.

Prior to her death in 2014, she left a be­quest to pur­chase a lifeboat.

The new lifeboat re­places the At­lantic 75 class lifeboat, Pa­tri­cia Jen­nings, which had been in ser­vice in Bal­ti­more since 2016. The new lifeboat is more ad­vanced that its im­me­di­ate pre­de­ces­sor. It is 10 me­tres longer than the At­lantic 75 and al­lows room for four crew mem­bers on­board in­stead of three.

The rib is pow­ered by two 115 horse­power en­gines and has a stronger hull and greater top speed of 35 knots.

Its im­proved radar al­lows the crew to op­er­ate more ef­fec­tively in poor vis­i­bil­ity and it’s also equipped with VHF direc­tion-find­ing equip­ment.

The ves­sel also has a man­u­ally op­er­ated self-right­ing mech­a­nism which com­bined with in­ver­sion-proofed en­gines keeps the lifeboat op­er­a­tional even after cap­size.

The At­lantic 85, in­tro­duced to the RNLI fleet in 2005, also car­ries a full suite of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and elec­tronic nav­i­ga­tion aids, as well as a searchlight, night-vi­sion equip­ment and flares for night-time op­er­a­tions.

Tom Bushe, Bal­ti­more RNLI Lifeboat Op­er­a­tions Man­ager, said lo­cal vol­un­teers were ex­tremely grate­ful to Miss Smyth for the gen­er­ous legacy do­na­tion which funded the new lifeboat.

“There is also a sense of nos­tal­gia among us too as we bid a fond farewell to the Pa­tri­cia Jen­nings who pro­vided us with two great years of ser­vice.

“Its time here in Bal­ti­more brought many peo­ple safely to shore,” Mr Bushe added.

Bal­ti­more RNLI wel­comes new its news At­lantic 85 class lifeboat, which went on ser­vice at the sta­tion last week

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