Girvan’s glimpse of the future

The lifeboat station at Girvan was given a glimpse into the future on Thursday.

That’s because the RNLI’s new Shannon class lifeboat was at the harbour as part of its current tour of lifeboat stations around the UK.

The new boats are currently being built around the country to replace the old Mersey style ones currently in use and are propelled by water jets instead of propellers.

Eventually around 50 of them will be built and they can generate up to 25 knots compared with 16 which the Mersey currently operates under.

The boat arrived around 3pm into Girvan Harbour under the watchful eye of the fleet staff coxswain Lee Firman.

Lee Firman said: “The new boats have a range of 250 miles compared to 140 miles right now and the fact that they are all weather as well means they have much more durability in the water.

“They will give our crews so many more options when they are out in the water. Everything is in front of a screen for them so they don’t have to keep getting up to move to another part of the boat to communicate or sort the radar system.”

The boats currently travelling are a prototype with the first one being launched last month in Poole.

Lee said: “We’ve come from Oban today and it’s only taken us around 3 and a half hours and you’d have no chance of doing that in the Mersey.

“Hopefully by January next year the Shannons will be fully operational.”