13 August 2005

Crew welcomes new lifeboat for Larne

Belfast Telegraph

By Fiona McIlwaine Biggins
13 August 2005

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'Jean and Paul on exercise at Larne July 2005' - Photos and info on the Larne station here

A Co Antrim RNLI crew has welcomed the newest member to its brave life-saving team.

The lifeboat station in Larne recently took delivery of a new £25,000 lifeboat - the Hannabella Ferguson.

The D Class craft replaces the previous inshore lifeboat Jean and Paul, which responded to 107 emergency calls over the past nine years.

The lifeboat is capable of 25 knots with a crew of three and has many features including a GPS colour plotter to enhance the inshore life-saving capability of the Larne station, particularly at night.

It can also be righted manually by the crew after a capsize and is ideal for rescues close to shore where larger lifeboats cannot operate.

Owen Medland, training divisional inspector said last night: "I am delighted to declare Larne Lifeboat Station's new inshore lifeboat on-service.

"The boat will ensure that the volunteer crew at Larne continues to provide an excellent service, saving lives."

Since being established in 1994, Larne's inshore and all-weather lifeboats have responded to hundreds of emergencies.

The station has 30 volunteer crew members including a teacher, restaurant manager, fish farm operative, manufacturing manager, student, forklift-truck driver, taxi driver, van driver and leisure centre assistant.

The new boat is the fourth in a programme of updating lifeboat station D' Class boats by the RNLI across Ireland.

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