Jersey Lifeboat Association takes delivery of new inshore rescue vessel

Jersey Lifeboat Association (JLA) has taken delivery of the fastest inshore rescue vessel in the Channel Islands. This vessel will complement its existing Tyne Class Lifeboat and is said, by Berthon RIB Solutions, to be the most modern rescue RIB in the British Isles.

The RIB will enable JLA to carry out inshore work as well as have a larger operational range. The global pandemic has meant the waters around Jersey have become busier and the RIB will arrive just in time for the demanding summer season.

Following sea trials aboard a standard Gemini WR880, JLA confirmed its intent to purchase a WR880 having been impressed with its outstanding sea-keeping abilities and Gemini’s proven track record of keeping life safe at sea.

“As a Jersey charity, it is incredible to be able to fund this new RIB purely through local donations, particularly given the pandemic,” says Andy Hibbs, coxswain of the JLA. “The vessel will be a fantastic asset for the station, crew and all those that use Jersey waters.”

The Gemini vessel is custom-made to accommodate detailed specs from JLA.

“The Berthon Gemini team worked for many hours to design a platform to house the extensive suite of on-board electronics that will assist the JLA crew in locating and rescuing persons, including radar, remote-controlled searchlights, DF Antenna and two FLIR cameras,” says Berthon.

Twin Mercury 225hp outboard motors give a top operational speed of 50+ knots supplied by two 300 litre long-range fuel tanks. The advanced water ballast system guarantees the stability through rough sea states.

Berthon RIB Solutions says it’s gratified to be able to see this project through from start to finish.

“It is a privilege to have the opportunity to work with JLA in the build of their new rescue RIB,” says Ben Slater, project manager. “The boat is designed from the ground up, learning from all of the features found on other similar craft resulting in a highly capable life-saving platform. I can’t wait to see the vessel on-station, looking after all seafarers in Jersey.”

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