RNLI to replace all-weather lifeboat with faster craft

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THE crew of an East Coast lifeboat has been left “disappointed” after it was decided to replace it with a smaller craft.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) announced yesterday that Filey’s Mersey class all-weather lifeboat will be replaced by an Atlantic 85 B class inshore lifeboat by 2017.

The Atlantic 85 is twice as fast as the 17 knot Mersey and better suited to the rescues carried out by the crew of Filey Lifeboat Station, according to the charity. But it also requires a smaller crew.

Barry Robson, Coxswain at Filey lifeboat station, said the present crew were disappointed by the decision.

He added: “We will now be focussing on the future and making sure we are ready to crew the Atlantic 85 lifeboat when it arrives.

“We will all be sad to say goodbye to our all-weather lifeboat when she retires, but when the call for help goes out and the pagers go off, the volunteers at Filey lifeboat station will still be going out to sea to save lives.

“The crew are professional, 100 per cent dedicated to what they do, and are fully committed to the RNLI.”

The new craft will operate alongside Filey’s smaller D class inshore lifeboat.

The RNLI will also place 25 knot Shannon class all-weather lifeboats at Scarborough and Bridlington before Filey’s all-weather lifeboat is withdrawn.

Michael Vlasto, RNLI Operations Director, said: “Some may see replacing a larger lifeboat with a smaller one as something of a downgrade but this is definitely not the case.

“An inshore lifeboat will generally mean quicker, more efficient rescues and so better serves the needs of those in trouble at sea.”