The 13.6m (44 ft 7 in) Shannon is the latest class to join the RNLI’s All-weather lifeboat fleet and is the first to be propelled by waterjets making it a very agile and manoeuvrable craft that has excellent shallow draft capabilities.
As a testament to Berthon’s build quality, the prototype vessel (RNLI 13-01 Jock and Annie Slater) was accepted into the relief fleet with only minor design changes. The build process, designed by Berthon, has allowed us to build up to 6 vessels a year using the latest lean management manufacturing techniques. This has been so successful it has been adopted by the RNLI to continue building the Shannon Class at the All-Weather Lifeboat Centre in Poole.
Charles Hunter-Pease, Chairman of the RNLI, talks here in a video about the Shannon build stating that “Every single person in Berthon gets involved and discharges their responsibility to ensure that we receive a world class product. It’s proof because the crews are very proud of the boats that they get and, so far, in the last 30 years, Berthon lifeboats have saved 584 lives. They’ve also brought ashore something like 20 times that number; so Berthon boats have saved the equivalent of the population of Lymington.”
For more detail on the work Berthon has performed with the RNLI on the Shannon Lifeboat please see the marine services case studies page.
An RNLI Shannon Class Lifeboat fitted with Hamilton HJ364 Waterjets combined with the power of 2 Scania Di13 12.7 litre engines with over 650 horsepower. This demonstration shows the slow speed agility as well as the controlled turn of pace given by the waterjet propulsion system.