Today (4 July 2019) at 9am, Guernsey welcomed a new RNLI inshore lifeboat to the harbour at St Peter Port.
The Elizabeth and Margaret Milligan B-class Atlantic lifeboat joins the all-weather boat in the harbour for a two-year trial period. The volunteer crew of thirteen (including four fully qualified helms) has been training on the boat for the last six months and took part in their final exercise last night before the boat was declared on service this morning.
With a large community of dedicated water users around the island and the summer season in full swing, the boat is likely to be tasked before too long.
Guernsey RNLI’s volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager, Chris Harvey, said, “The crew have shown dedication and commitment in getting through their training so quickly and professionally. As volunteers, the demands on their time for them and their families is high, and even more so in the preparations for the new vessel. They are a credit to the station and I am grateful for their hard work.
Our Severn class all-weather boat, Spirit of Guernsey, is the largest boat in the RNLI fleet and is capable of operating in the worst conditions. However, having an Atlantic 85 as a fast response vessel with the ability to operate close inshore is a tremendous bonus. We look forward to the challenge of using the vessel to its best advantage during the two-year trial.”
He continued, “The weather has been fantastic for the past few days so as we head towards the weekend, we’d urge everyone on the island to take care in or by the water and to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard if they see anyone in trouble. Enjoy our wonderful beaches and coastline but always remember to respect the water.”
Guernsey’s Harbourmaster Captain David Barker said: “Guernsey Coastguard is delighted that the RNLI is providing a new Atlantic 85 inshore rescue vessel for use in Bailiwick waters. The new boat, named ‘Elizabeth and Margaret Milligan’, is designed for rapid response in coastal areas and can access shallower waters than our existing lifeboat. She carries an impressive array of equipment, including night vision aids, GPS and radar systems.
Over the last few months, RNLI volunteers have completed an intensive training programme in how to operate the new vessel, which will complement Guernsey’s existing Severn Class lifeboat, ‘Spirit of Guernsey’. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the RNLI and their volunteer crews for their vital service to our islands and those who use our waters.”