A GENEROUS bequest has funded a new inshore lifeboat for Baltimore’s RNLI.
The new Atlantic 85 class lifeboat, the Rita Daphne Smyth, replaces the Atlantic 75 class Patricia Jennings, which, over the last two years, was launched 21 times in the rescue of 17 people.
The new vessel arrived at the Baltimore Lifeboat Station on Thursday, September 13th, but it only became operational on September 20th following a week of familiarisation training.
Baltimore’s RNLI lifeboat operations manager, Tom Bushe spoke about the organisation’s gratitude to Miss Rita Daphne Smyth for the generous legacy donation.
The late Rita Daphne Smyth ws a native of Harrow in Middlesex, England.
She was a supporter of the charity and prior to her death in 2014 she left a bequest to purchase the lifeboat.
The Rita Daphne Smyth is 10m longer than the Atlantic 75 and allows a crew of four instead of three onboard.
It is powered by two 115 horsepower engines and has a stronger hull and a greater top speed of 35 knots.
Added radar allows the crew to operate more effectively in poor visibility and it also has VHF direction-finding equipment.
In addition to a manually-operated self-righting mechanism, the lifeboat can even be beached in an emergency without causing damage to its engines or steering gear.
It carries a full suite of communication and electronic navigation aids, as well as a searchlight, night-vision equipment and flares for night-time operations.
Together with the all-weather Alan Massey lifeboat – and the courageous volunteer crew of 20 – coxswain Kieran Cotter said it will enhance the search and rescue ability enormously.
The Rita Daphne Smyth will be officially named at a special ceremony and service of dedication later this year.