Severn lifeboat fit for another 25 years

Yarmouth RNLI’s Severn class lifeboat Photo: RNLI/Harrison Bates

Industry Database

The RNLI will extend the life of its Severn class lifeboats so they can continue saving lives at sea for another 25 years.

The Severn entered service in 1996 and there are currently 44 of these 42 tonne lifesaving vessels in the charity’s fleet. With an operational lifespan of 25 years, these lifeboats are now approaching retirement age and are due to come off service soon. However, the charity’s in-house engineering team has worked in partnership with academic and industry experts and established that an upgrade will enable another 25 years’ service.

Ready to save lives

“From shock-mitigating seats for the crew, to new survivor space seating for casualties and a new daughter craft that can be launched quickly for rescuing casualties in shallow waters or close to rocks, the life extension upgrades will ensure our Severn class lifeboats are ready to save lives at sea for another 25 years,” explained Nick Fenwick, project manager for the RNLI’s Severn life extension programme.

Six Severn class lifeboats will be upgraded initially, with the upgrades taking place at the RNLI’s All-weather Lifeboat Centre in Poole, Dorset. The average anticipated cost of each life extension upgrade is £1.25 million, significantly less than the cost of designing and building a brand-new class of lifeboat.

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