An enthusiastic crowd turned out on a blustery and chilly Sunday morning on the Isle of Man to welcome the Shannon-class lifeboat Ann and James Ritchie II to Ramsey.

The Ann and James Ritchie II was joined for her arrival on 27 February by the station’s current all-weather Mersey-class lifeboat Ruby Clery, Peel’s Shannon-class lifeboat Frank and Brenda Winter and the Douglas Mersey-class Marine Engineer.

Ramsey lifeboat coxswain Mark Kenyon MBE was accompanied by mechanic Tom Edwards and crew members Jason Colley, Edd Saunders and Michelle Stewardson in bringing the new lifeboat home to Ramsey for the first time, along with fleet staff coxswain Dan Guy.

The £2.2m Shannon is the most advanced lifeboat in the RNLI fleet. It is more manoeuvrable, safer, faster and has a greater range than the Mersey-class lifeboat it replaces. This is the second Shannon lifeboat to be stationed on the Isle of Man.

A key feature of the Shannon is its jet propulsion system, where the usual propellers and rudders are replaced by water jets, allowing the lifeboat to turn in its own length, navigate around hazards and stop almost instantly. The crew was able to demonstrate some of these capabilities during displays near the stone pier and Ramsey Bay.

The crew will now undergo intensive training on the Ann and James Ritchie II, learning new techniques and adapting established ones, with the aim that the new lifeboat becomes operational in the next few weeks.

A formal naming ceremony and service of dedication will take place in early summer.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here


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