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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution - Saves Lives at Sea



A new RNLI lifeboat has been put on service in Kinghorn today.

The new generation Atlantic 85 class lifeboat ‘Tommy Niven’ replaces the Atlantic 75 lifeboat 'Frederick Robertson' which has been on service for 14 years. The Atlantic 85 lifeboat, the third of its kind in Scotland, is 13% larger than its predecessor, with advanced technology, a fourth crew seat, deck space for a stretcher and a faster top speed of 35 knots.

The new lifeboat has been funded by a generous legacy left to the RNLI in 2002 by Mr Thomas Niven of Carlisle, Cumbria.

Charlie Tulloch, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager at Kinghorn, says the Atlantic 85 will ensure the station continues to provide a top class service on the Firth of Forth:‘Everyone at the station is delighted that the Atlantic 85 is now on service. The new lifeboat boasts the latest in electronic equipment, including radar, a chart plotter, direction finding equipment and space for an extra crewmember and a stretcher. It also has a greater range and speed which means we will be able to respond to incidents faster and further away if necessary. We are extremely grateful to Mr Niven for leaving such a generous donation to the RNLI which has funded the new lifeboat.’

Wave Crookes, Divisional Inspector for the RNLI has been responsible for training the local volunteer lifeboat crew on the new lifeboat. He says:
‘The local lifeboat crew have been fully committed this week to getting to grips with the new lifeboat, training in testing weather conditions. All credit to them, they have stuck with it and ensured that the new RNLI Atlantic 85 is able to go on service today.’

The new lifeboat is the first inshore RNLI lifeboat fitted with a video camera in Scotland allowing the RNLI to upload footage from future rescues to its online press centre

During the 14 years the ‘Frederick Robertson’ was in Kinghorn it was launched to 560 search and rescues during which 434 people were rescued.

Notes to editors
• Fast, manoeuvrable and very reliable, the Atlantic 85 operates in rough weather conditions, even at night. The Atlantic 85 is operational in daylight up to force 7 and at night to force 6. The design allows room for four crew members, more survivors and more kit than the 75. She is powered by two 115hp engines and has a stronger hull and greater top speed of 35 knots. The added radar allows her crew to operate more effectively in poor visibility and to locate stricken vessels faster. A manually operated righting system combined with two 115hp 4-stroke inversion-proofed engines keep her operational even after capsize.

• The Atlantic 85 carries a full suite of communication and electronic navigation aids, including VHF radio, VHF DF, intercom, DGPS and electronic chart, radar and hand-held VHF, as well as a searchlight, night-vision equipment and illuminating paraflares for night-time operations.

• Introduced in 2005, the Atlantic 85 is 13% larger than the Atlantic 75.

• The name Atlantic is derived from Atlantic College in Wales, where the rigid inflatable was first developed. ‘85’ are derived from a length of nearly 8.5m.

• Inshore RNLI lifeboats are designed to reach casualties in places where an all-weather lifeboat would be unable to operate, for example, close to shore, close to cliffs, among rocks or even in caves. Different classes of lifeboat are needed for various locations, primarily depending on geographical features, the kind of rescue work that the station is asked to do and the cover provided by neighbouring stations.