.....with its professionalism and friendly welcome for a large group of Coastwise members, on the first meeting of the new year.
The visit was to the Ilfracombe lifeboat station, which operates a Shannon all-weather boat propelled by water jets for shallow water operation and high manoeuvreability, and a D-Class RIB for inshore work.
These are both of real professional build standard to stand up to the heavy seas they meet, and also require intensive maintenance to allow readiness for frquent call-outs.
Members were showna round by a very knowlegeable and capable team of volunteers, and indeed the whole RNLI organisation depends on large numbers of dedicated volunteers.
Significant fund raising is still required to meet the cost of running and maintaining such specialised equipment. For example, the Shannon can cover 300 miles at 25knots, and a fuel tank fill cost is in the thousands of pounds range.
A really informative visit, with members being able to go onto and into the Shannon and see al the technology, something not available to the public who visit the boat house.
Well done Ilfracombe RNLI staff.....you're doing a great job !