Following a six-month training and familiarisation period, July 2019 saw the introduction of a ‘B’ Class Atlantic 85 Inshore Rescue lifeboat – the Elizabeth and Margaret Milligan (B-889) on a two-year trial for evaluation. She is moored temporarily on a swinging mooring in the Pool at St. Peter Port.
Capable of operating in weather up to a force 6, Elizabeth and Margaret Milligan permits room for four crew members. She is a RIB (Rigid Inflatable) 8.5 metres in length, powered by two 115 horse power Yamaha petrol engines and has a top speed of 35 knots. The radar allows the crew to operate effectively in poor visibility and there is also VHF direction-finding equipment to assist in homing in on radio signals, which aids in locating casualties. The vessel carries a comprehensive range of rescue and first aid equipment and has a manually operated self-righting mechanism which combined with inversion-proofed engines keeps the lifeboat operational even after capsize. The lifeboat can be beached in an emergency without causing damage to its engines or steering gear.
The Atlantic 85 which was introduced to the RNLI fleet in 2005 also carries a full suite of communication and electronic navigation aids, similar to that fitted on the much larger “Spirit of Guernsey” as well as a searchlight, night-vision equipment and flares for night-time operations.