Youngest RNLI Shannon Coxswain-Mechanic takes charge

Scotland’s second Shannon Class lifeboat, Elizabeth and Gertrude Allan (13-23), will arrive in Girvan this Sunday, with Callum Govus (25) at the helm.

The first modern all-weather lifeboat to be propelled by water jets, which costs £2.1m to build, will arrive in Girvan on Sunday 10th December to be greeted by crowds of local RNLI supporters and, of course, Santa Claus.

Callum, Girvan Lifeboat Station’s full-time Coxswain-Mechanic, joined the RNLI as a volunteer eight years ago, the day after his 17th birthday (the minimum age for RNLI volunteers). Callum was inspired to join by his teacher and mentor, Davie Butcher, who was Girvan’s second coxswain and who, sadly, passed away just before Callum joined the crew. Callum is now one of RNLI’s very few full-time lifeboat crew.

Speaking about the influence that Davie had on his life and his pride at bringing home Girvan’s new lifeboat, Callum said: ‘Davie was more than just a role model. There is no way I’d have this amazing honour if it wasn’t for him. I owe him everything and I’ll definitely be thinking of him when I bring the Shannon into harbour, hopefully in front of Davie’s family’.

The Shannon class lifeboat is the RNLI’s latest and most advanced all-weather lifeboat and the first to be propelled by waterjets instead of traditional propellers. The lifeboat’s water-jets allow the vessel to operate in shallow waters and be intentionally beached as well as to manoeuvre precisely in hazardous conditions such as when operating alongside a stricken vessel.

Capable of 25 knots, the new lifeboat is 50% faster than RNLB Silvia Burrell, the Mersey class all-weather lifeboat she will replace. Silvia Burrell has been the Girvan lifeboat for the past 24 years but has now come to the end of her operational life.

Girvan’s new lifeboat Elizabeth and Gertrude Allan (13-23) will arrive into the harbour at 1323 exactly (1.23pm), in order to reflect her official side number, on Sunday 10th December.

She will be greeted by a UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopter and another very special guest, Santa Claus. Local residents are invited to come and welcome their new lifeboat and to enjoy the food, drink and crafts that will be on offer from 12pm midday.

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