Crew members delighted over hi-tech lifeboat for Wells

Wells is to get a new Shannon class lifeboat. Picture: RNLI/Nathan Williams

Wells is to get a new Shannon class all-weather lifeboat in three years' time as well as a brand new boathouse.

Volunteer crew members at the lifeboat station in Beach Road were thrilled with the news about the boat, which features the very latest developments in design and technology. It will be delivered to the town in the second half of 2016 and will require a new boathouse to house it. In addition, the lifeboat will undergo sea-trials once built and the Wells crew will have to undergo extensive training in its operation.

Coxswain Allen Frary said: 'It's been a long time in the planning, but we are all extremely pleased that we're getting the new boat and a new boathouse too.'

The allocation of the new lifeboat was confirmed in a letter from Michael Vlasto, RNLI operations director, to Chris Hardy, lifeboat operations manager at Wells RNLI.

Mr Hardy said: 'Whilst our current Mersey class lifeboat has served us splendidly for more than 20 years, the major technical advancement in terms of boat design and operating performance of the new Shannon class will ensure we can continue to fulfil our vital role of saving lives at sea off the north Norfolk coast.'

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The Shannon class lifeboat costs £2m to build, with the launch and recovery equipment costing a further £1.5m. The lifeboat will be capable of a speed of 25 knots – making it 50pc faster than the lifeboat she will replace – and will be the first modern all-weather lifeboat using waterjet propulsion rather than propellers.

Mr Hardy added: 'Waterjet engines give much better manoeuvrability, which is important when working close to another vessel. It's a leap forward for the crew here at Wells.'

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