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Buncrana gets first €2.4m RNLI super-boat 09.04.15

IRELAND'S first Shannon-class lifeboat will be launched this Friday by the RNLI at Buncrana Pier.
The €2.4m vessel is the first lifeboat class to be named after an Irish river in recognition of the role volunteer crews have played in the charity’s 190-year history here.
The Shannon is the latest class of all-weather vessel to join the RNLI fleet and it is the first to be propelled by water-jets rather than propellers.
It will eventually replace the Mersey and Tyne-class lifeboats, which are nearing the end of their operational lifecycle.
The Shannon has a top speed of 25 knots and a range of 250 nautical miles.
Its water-jets make it highly manoeuvrable in all seas and water-depth levels, allowing for deliberate beaching in shallow water.
The cutting edge Shannon class lifeboat performing a beaching exercise during trials.
Other features include a self-righting mechanism in the event of capsize; minimal slamming in heavy seas and special shock-absorption seats to protect the crew at high-speeds.
Lough Swilly lifeboat station in Buncrana has been in operation for 27 years. During that time, crews have responded to more than 700 call outs, saving 47 lives and bringing 517 safely ashore.
Coxswain Mark Barnett will helm the new boat as it is taken into Buncrana Pier during the special lunchtime ceremony.
He said the cutting-edge vessel was a "huge investment" by the RNLI in the local volunteer crew and those who use Lough Swilly for their livelihoods and leisure.
Meanwhile, Lough Swilly lifeboat operations manager John McCarter said the new vessel would make response times even faster and would provide “a major advancement in lifesaving on the North West coast”.
He also acknowledged the great financial support the charity had received from fundraising volunteers and the communities of Donegal north east.
The local lifeboat crew is hoping for a good turnout from the public for the boat's launch at Buncrana Pier at 12 noon on Friday, April 10.
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