Whatever the emergency at sea or at the coast in the United Kingdom the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (commonly known as the HM Coastguard or MCA) will co-ordinate the incident and all the search and rescue (SAR) assets who are tasked.
This is the first in the series of four blogs focusing on the lifeboats that are operational along the Thanet coastline. We kick off this blog with a look at the Ramsgate All-Weather Lifeboat.
The All-Weather Boat (AWB) – pictured above
The Esme Anderson (14-02) which is a Trent class lifeboat (named after the 3rd longest river in the England), has been stationed at Ramsgate since 1994, being handed over by Christopher Oldham, the son of the donor the late Esme Anderson.
Facts and figures
Capable of 25 knots (RNLI want all their all weather lifeboats to be capable of 25 knots by 2019)
Has a range of 250 neutical miles
Length 14.3 metres
Fuel : 4,180 litres
Designed to lie afloat, either at deep-water moorings or alongside at a berth
A key feature is that it is self-righting
What do Coxswain’s across the country say about the Trent? “She’s fast and manoeuvrable enough to respond quickly, but powerful and large enough to take on big seas, tow big boats and carry lots of survivors”
The engine room is at the stern and space limitations led to a novel engine layout
One of the engines is turned around, driving the propeller in a conventional way, while the other works through a V drive
Also carries a small XP boat, which is an inflatable daughter boat with a 5 horse power outboard engine capable of 6 knots. This allows the crew to access areas the Trent cannot reach. Ramsgate use their XP boat along the River Stour where their Atlantic Inshore Boat cannot be used due to the shallow water
All lifeboats have a unique identification number – The first part indicates the class. Trent class lifeboats start with 14 because they are just over 14 metres in length. The numbers after the dash refer to the build number. So the first Trent built was given the number 14-01.
Some of your may come across Swim Safe before either via social media, the RNLI website perhaps or heard about it by the good old fashioned word of mouth? If not, then it is a really exciting free of charge swimming and water safety lessons delivered at mainly beaches and across the UK and Republic of Ireland by Swim England and the RNLI in partnership. We are so lucky to be holding a Swim Safe programme of lessons on Margate Main Sands this Summer!
The Swim Safe Team have delivered two of the sessions so far, both on a Friday and they have been massively popular with local families and also those from some distance away. To be eligible children must be aged between 7-14 years and be able to swim 25 metres. I have received quite a few enquiries that the on-line booking system shows no slots available for any of the sessions. My advice is if you really want your child to attend, then attend one of the sessions by walking up and asking the staff whether their are any vacancies remaining for the day and whether they can join the session. Definitely worth ago!
So, if you are in the Margate area and want your child to learn some essential water safety techniques, then check out Swim Safe. All the feedback that we have so far received has been an overwhelming thumbs up from both children and parents. Before I go, to enable you to enjoy your time at the coast this Summer even more please search for ‘RNLI Float Not Swim’ and learn this essential technique that actually saved 7 peoples lives last year. Figures are from the RNLI.
Check out our top 5 useful links for beach, water and coastal safety:
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