New Mumbles lifeboat is on its way home
MUMBLES new lifeboat is finally coming home.
The arrival of the new, modern Tamar vessel is the final one of four being introduced by the service in Wales, with others having already replaced Tyne class lifeboats stationed at Porthdinllaen, Moelfre and St Davids.
Five crew from the Mumbles spent last week getting acquainted with the all-weather lifeboat at the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, undertaking training on the equipment, systems and particulars that differ from their existing boat.
They arrive in Swansea with the new vessel today having come via Brixham, Falmouth and Padstow, with the crew undertaking consolidation training en route, including emergency drills, to ensure the deputy coxswains are fully trained in its capabilities.
The station's existing lifeboat, Babs & Agnes Robertson, will launch to welcome the new Tamar at Mumbles Head, as she sails into Swansea for the first time.
Mumbles RNLI coxswain Martin Double said: "Bringing the new lifeboat home to Swansea for the very first time will be an incredibly proud moment for me. This really is a fantastic boat and I have every confidence that she will serve us well and help us to save more lives off the south Wales coast.
"For the RNLI crew, safety is paramount and this is a lifeboat which has been very carefully designed to enable volunteers to go to sea in the safest possible way. It is also faster than our current Tyne class lifeboat and has many features that will aid search and rescue. Training to get to grips with this new lifeboat has been quite intensive and will continue now the new lifeboat is on station."
Work to construct a purpose build lifeboat station to house the new Tamar in Mumbles is well advanced.
Volunteers have already raised £60,000 of their £136,000 target to fund the galley and operations room, with a further fundraising dinner planned later this moth.
To thank supporters, the volunteer crew will tomorrow showcase their eagerly awaited new lifeboat in the Marina.
The Tamar features the latest technology including computerised Systems and Information Management System (SIMS) that enables crew to control many of the lifeboat's functions remotely from the safety of their seats.
Other features include advanced ergonomics that reduce the impact on the crew as the lifeboat encounters rough seas, and a powered inflatable rescue tender stored behind a hydraulic transom door to allow immediate deployment.
Compared to the Tyne class lifeboat, the Tamar is bigger – 16 metres as opposed to 14 – and has a faster response time, with a speed of 25, rather than 17 knots.
Andy Miles — Swansea Sound DJ Badger — a volunteer crew member, added: "This new boat will have a massive impact on the crew. We'd like people to come down and see it in the marina, before it goes to the boathouse."