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RNLI crews in Mumbles welcome allocation of Tamar class lifeboat

By V_Jones  |  Posted: November 20, 2012

Work gets under way at The Mumbles Pier

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RNLI crews in Mumbles have welcomed news confirming their allocation of a Tamar class lifeboat to be named Roy Barker IV.

The charity is investing nearly £10.8m in four new lifeboats for Porthdinllaen, Moelfre, St Davids and Mumbles and approximately £31.7m on associated shore works.

The new lifeboat, which is bigger and faster than the current Tyne class vessel, is expected to arrive once the multi-million pound work to replace the RNLI lifeboat house is completed.

A spokesman said the £9.6m scheme for the new slipway station is expected to be completed in October next year.

Designers are still putting the final touches to plans for the St Davids boathouse.

The plans, which have been in development for a number of years, are due to be submitted to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority this month for consideration.

Building is expected to start in 2013 if planning permission is granted.

Colin Williams, RNLI Divisional Inspector of lifeboat for Wales, said the investment in four Tamars shows their "commitment to saving lives at sea off the Welsh coast."

"The Tamar is the most technologically advanced lifeboat ever produced by the RNLI, we owe it to our volunteer crews to provide them with the very best lifeboats," he said.

"Being able to provide these fantastic new lifeboats is thanks to very generous bequests for which we are eternally grateful."

Mr Williams said the RNLI had faced significant challenges in designing many of the new boathouses.

"From the listed status of some of our current boathouses’ sites of special scientific interest and extreme tidal conditions – the challenges of designing homes for these new lifeboats has not been easy.

"The support we’ve had from local councils, various governing bodies and the public should not be underestimated and we thank our supporters for their continued patience as we provide the necessary bases for 21st century lifeboating."

Compared to the Tyne class lifeboat, the Tamar is bigger – 16 metres as opposed to 14 – and has a faster response time, with a speed of 25, rather than 17 knots.

The Tamar includes the computerised Systems and Information Management System (SIMS) that enables crew to control many of the lifeboat's functions remotely from the safety of their seats.

Other features include advanced ergonomics that reduce the impact on the crew as the lifeboat crashes through waves, and a powered Y boat stored behind a transom door to allow immediate deployment.

The first Tamar went on station at Tenby in Wales in 2006, followed by Angle in 2009.

The lifeboat has been funded by the Roy Barker Memorial Fund.

Mr Frederick Roy Barker of Jersey died in 1992 and bequeathed his whole estate to the RNLI, with the request that the monies received form a fund to be known as the Roy Barker Memorial Fund. Income from the fund is to be used to meet the cost of lifeboats.

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