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Shannon-class lifeboat

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Shannon-class lifeboat

13-03 R and J Welburn
Exmouth's Shannon-class 13-03 R. and J. Wellburn
Class overview
  • Hull:-SAR Composites, Lymington[1]
  • Fit out:-Berthon Boat Co., Lymington
Operators: Royal National Lifeboat Institution
Preceded by: Mersey class lifeboat
Cost: £1.5m
Built: 2012-
In service: Spring 2013
Planned: ~50
Active: 6
General characteristics (1st Experimental boat, Camarc hull)
Displacement: 14.6 long tons (15 t)
Length: 13.6 m (44 ft 7 in)
Beam: 4.54 m (14 ft 11 in)
Draught: 0.75 m (2 ft 6 in)
  • 2 × Caterpillar C9 engines, 510 hp (380 kW)
  • 2 × Hamilton HJ 362 Waterjets
Speed: 27 knots (31 mph; 50 km/h)
Range: 250 nmi (460 km)
Complement: 5
General characteristics (Prototype, RNLI hull)
Displacement: 17 long tons (17 t)
Length: 13.6 m (44 ft 7 in)
Beam: 4.54 m (14 ft 11 in)
Draught: 0.75 m (2 ft 6 in)
  • 2 × Scania DI13M, 650 hp (485 kW)
  • 2 × Hamilton HJ 364 Waterjets
Speed: 25 knots (29 mph; 46 km/h)
Range: 250 nmi (460 km)
Complement: 6

The Shannon-class lifeboat[2] (previously FCB2 – Fast Carriage Boat 2) is the latest class of lifeboat currently being deployed to the RNLI fleet to serve the shores of the British Isles. The Shannon class is intended to replace the Mersey class carriage-launched lifeboat and, with the completion of the Tamar build programme, the remaining Tyne-class lifeboats.


  • History 1
  • Service 2
  • Fleet 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


FCB2, the prototype boat

The experimental boat, named Effseabee Too underwent sea trials during 2005–2008. It is based on a Camarc Pilot vessel design, with a fibre reinforced composite hull, powered by twin water jets. It had a top speed of approximately 30 knots (56 km/h), but was planned to be rated down to 25–27 knots when the final design was put into production. In 2008, FCB2 development was delayed due to hull shape issues, as trials showed crews would be subjected to unacceptable shocks and excessive horizontal shaking in high seas. The RNLI indicated that the project would be extended by at least three more years to research a new hull shape.

The Shannon class uses similar Systems and Information Management System (SIMS) technology to that of the Tamar class lifeboat so that crew members can operate all of the boats systems collaboratively without leaving their seats. Crew seats are also similar to the Tamar, sprung to reduce the shocks in heavy seas. [3] In April 2009 it was announced a new hull had been chosen. The Shannon class prototype boat was completed late 2011 and scheduled for active service as of mid-2013.[4]

In April 2011 it was announced the class would be named after the River Shannon, the longest river in Ireland. This is the first time that the name of an Irish river has been used for a class of RNLI lifeboat.[2]

After boatyard acceptance in March 2012 the first of the fleet went through sea acceptance trials in 2012. All hulls are moulded by SAR Composites and up to ON1318 were fitted out by Berthon Boat Co. Lymington Hampshire[5] From ON1319 fitting out will be progressively switched to the RNLI All-Weather Lifeboat Centre at Poole, to which hull moulding will also eventually be transferred.


The first Shannon-class to be delivered for service was demonstrated at Dungeness, Kent on 21 February 2014.[6] The boat, to begin active service the following month, has been named The Morrell in honour of Barbara Morrell, a keen fundraiser for the RNLI who bequested the service £6m which she asked to be used for a lifeboat for Kent.[6]

Further Shannons will go on station at Hoylake, Ilfracombe, Llandudno, Lowestoft, Montrose, Scarborough, Skegness, Selsey, St Ives and Swanage. Other stations are yet to be confirmed.[7][8][9]


ON[1] Op. No.[2] Name[10][11] Builder In service Principal Station
1285 --- Effseabee Two SAR[lower-roman 1]/BBC[lower-roman 2] 2005–2008 Experimental boat
1308 13-01 Jock and Annie Slater SAR/BBC 2012– Relief fleet
1309 13-02 The Morrell SAR/BBC 2014– Dungeness [12]
1310 13-03 R and J Welburn SAR/BBC 2014– Exmouth [13]
1311 13-04 Storm Rider SAR/BBC 2014– Relief fleet
1312 13-05 Patsy Knight SAR/BBC 2014– Lowestoft [14]
1313 13-06 Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood SAR/BBC 2014– Hoylake[15]
1314 13-07 Reg SAR/BBC 2015– Relief fleet
1315 13-08 Derek Bullivant SAR/BBC 2015– Lough Swilly
1316 13-09 The Barry and Peggy High Foundation SAR/BBC 2015– Ilfracombe [16]
1317 13-10 Ian Grant Smith SAR/BBC 2015– Montrose[17]
1318 13-11 Nora Stachura SAR/BBC Due 2015 St Ives
1319 13-12 Cosandra SAR/BBC/ALC[lower-roman 3] Due 2016 Relief fleet
1320 13-13 George Thomas Lacy SAR/BBC Due 2016 Swanage
1321 13-14 Kenneth James Pierpoint SAR/ALC Due 2016 Fleetwood
1322 13-15 Frederick William Plaxton SAR/ALC Due 2016 Scarborough
1323 13-16 Elizabeth and Leonard Due 2016 Amble


  1. ^ "RNLI Press Release 16/01/09". 2014-02-17. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  2. ^ a b "RNLI Press Release 11/04/11". 2014-02-17. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  3. ^ RNLI FCB2 newsletter
  4. ^ "Press Release 16/04/09". 2014-02-17. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  5. ^ "Introducing the Shannon Class lifeboat". Chriswah. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  6. ^ a b "Shannon superlifeboat arrives at Dungeness". 2014-02-17. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Swanage RNLI Lifeboat Station". Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  9. ^ "Newest lifeboat for new Montrose RNLI station". BBC News Online (BBC). 20 July 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2013. 
  10. ^ "Donate toward our lifesaving future". RNLI. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  11. ^ "NavynutsRNLIShannonclass". 2012-01-26. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  12. ^§ion=attach&attach_id=11808
  13. ^ "Building for a lifesaving future | Shannon trials updates | April 2013". RNLI. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  14. ^ "Lowestoft to receive new RNLI Shannon class lifeboat". 2011-09-30. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  15. ^ "Generous legacy from former Wren to fund Hoylake’s new RNLI lifeboat". 2014-02-28. Retrieved 2014-02-28. 
  16. ^ "Berthon Welcomes Benefactor of New Ilfracombe Lifeboat". chriswah. 2015-04-29. Retrieved 2015-04-29. 
  17. ^ "New Shannon class water jet lifeboat arrives at RNLI Montrose station". BBC News. 21 August 2015. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 

External links

  • RNLI Fleet
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