First call-out for the first Shannon in the South West
Portland Coastguard requested assistance from Exmouth RNLI’s new all-weather lifeboat at 6.09pm on 31 May after a diver was overdue returning to his party in Lyme Bay.
Crew volunteers assembled at 6.12pm and launched using the new Shannon Launch and Recovery System within 10 minutes. R and J Welburn was stood down at 6.30pm after the diver had appeared at the surface approximately 300m from his party, two miles off Seaton. He was discovered by Coastguard Helicopter 106 which was also scrambled to search.
It was Exmouth RNLI Coxswain Steve Hockings-Thompson’s first shout in his new role;
‘Although our help was not needed in this case, I was thrilled to see how quick and efficient our shore crew volunteers were able to launch for a shout. The increased speed of the Shannon meant we could have arrived on scene in a much faster time than on the Mersey. Shaving off minutes could make a crucial difference in saving lives at sea.’
- Exmouth RNLI’s first Shannon service took place on the day of the naming of Shannon class lifeboat 13-02 The Morrell at Dungeness RNLI. HRH Princess Anne was the royal guest of honour at the Kent RNLI lifeboat station, the first in the Institution to receive a Shannon class lifeboat.