Happisburgh gets its new lifeboat
The new, bigger and faster lifeboat has arrived at Happisburgh and the crew is hopeful it will be up and running within the next couple of weeks.Following completion of a major upgrade to the wooden access ramp to the sea, training has begun on the Atlantic 75, taking them one step closer to becoming a two-boat station.
The new, bigger and faster lifeboat has arrived at Happisburgh and the crew is hopeful it will be up and running within the next couple of weeks.
Following completion of a major upgrade to the wooden access ramp to the sea, training has begun on the Atlantic 75, taking them one step closer to becoming a two-boat station.
The volunteers, including crew and helmsman, recently took part in a course in Poole to help familiarise themselves with the B-class boat, which will work alongside the existing D-class model, and learn the extra skills needed to operate the new equipment.
Now the team has begun trying out their new-found knowledge back at their Cart Gap station - completing a number of 12-hour training sessions over the past two weeks.
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Spokesman Philip Smith said: 'Every station runs slightly differently. The first thing that arrived was the tractor and trailer to familiarise themselves with that. Once that was completed the boat arrived so they've been getting used to launching off the trailer.'
After returning from a call, the crew, which moved to its Cart Gap base in 2003 after the old ramp was washed away by the sea, has to be able to prepare the boat to relaunch again as quickly as possible.
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A spell of calm waters held things up for a short time, with the crew unable to demonstrate their ability to launch in rough conditions, but Mr Smith said the RNLI inspectors were now satisfied with their progress.
The lifeboat spokesman said he was hopeful the boat would be in use within the next couple of weeks but added: 'Training is ongoing and
we'll continue until we're fully happy.'
The Atlantic 75, which is on a two-year trial at the station, will allow the Happisburgh crew to operate over a much larger area. Mr Smith said: 'Whereas the D-class can go three or four miles out, the Atlantic can operate completely by itself and can go 11 or 12 miles out.'
It can travel up to 10 knots faster than the older boat, is 3.5m longer and weights nearly four times as much.
Because of its size, the Atlantic also needs a larger number of crew to operate it - a minimum of five for every launch - and that has left the station in search of more volunteers.
The Happisburgh team has already found some new recruits, but Mr Smith said it was always on the look-out for more.
Anyone interested should contact the station on 01692 583269 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.