A new D Class inshore lifeboat has gone on service at Kippford RNLI.
The lifeboat which arrived on station on Tuesday 28 April replaces the current boat ‘Catherine’ which has been saving lives at Kippford since 2009, launching on service over 60 times in that period.
The volunteer crew at Kippford RNLI have been spending time familiarising themselves with the new boat both onshore and at sea. The latest D Class inshore lifeboat retains all of the key features which makes it such an important vessel in the RNLI fleet.
The new Lifeboat has been funded by a generous legacy from the late Miss Sheila Sinclair. Miss Sinclair died in 2017 having lived in North Berwick and her wish was to fund a Lifeboat to be located in Scotland at a station where a D Class was required. The Lifeboat is named after her late brother, Ronnie Sinclair.
Subject to Covid restrictions there will be a special naming ceremony and dedication for the ‘Ronnie Sinclair’ to be held in Kippford later this year.
Gareth Jones, Lifeboat Operations Manager for Kippford RNLI said: ‘The arrival of a new lifeboat marks an exciting milestone in the history of our station. Our volunteer crew are ready to launch 24/7 when someone is in trouble and the generous legacy of Miss Sinclair means we are able to do this using the most up to date equipment. The RNLI relies on public donations and legacy funding like this can make a huge difference to our life saving ability.’
First introduced into the RNLI fleet in 1963, the design of the inflatable D Class Lifeboat continues to evolve to meet changes in demand and technology. With a top speed of 25 knots she can operate for up to 3 hours at maximum speed making her ideal for search and rescue missions.
She is highly manoeuvrable and usually operates closer to shore than our all-weather lifeboats. She comes into her own for searches and rescues in the surf, shallow water and confined locations – often close to cliffs, among rocks and even inside caves. This makes the vessel ideal for the rocky coves and shallow water around Kippford.
The volunteers crews on a D Class Lifeboat are fully exposed to the elements all times meaning they rely on their protective equipment to keep them safe during launches. The D Class carries medical equipment to provide casualty care and is also equipped for use at night. In the event of a capsize the boat can be manually righted by crew and the engine restarted. All D Class Lifeboats are built and maintained at the RNLI’s Inshore Lifeboat Centre at Cowes on the Isle of Wight.
- Kippford Lifeboat station has been operating since 1966